Geographical vs institutional factors of the development of old industrial regions in industry 4.0: the case of Ural macro-region

Irina I. Rakhmeeva

Abstract


Relevance. Massive industrial and economic changes, which are a part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, bring about new challenges and opportunities for regional development. The factors that used to play a key role in the development of regions such as labor, capital and geography, are now receding to the background while other factors such as technological progress, human capital and institutions gain importance.

Research objective. The article deals with changes in the factors that shape regional development, more specifically, it aims to compare the influence of geographical and institutional factors on the development of one of the leading industrial macro-regions in Russia – the Urals.

Data and methods. The research contains regional analysis of geographical and institutional factors in old industrial regions of the Ural macroregion of Russia. The method of geographical zoning is based on collation the development levels of regions with their geographical and institutional competitive positions.

Results. The research revealed the complexity of factors affecting old industrial regions in Russia in the 2010s: some of these regions are still highly dependent on geographical factors while others are largely shaped by institutional factors. Such territories show sustainable development of their economies and innovation sectors. We also found a significant correlation between the regions’ economic performance and their formal institutions (the quality of regulation) while the differences in informal institutions were negligible.

Conclusions. The conclusion is made that regional authorities in Russia should put more effort into creating a better regulatory environment for innovation and industry.


Keywords


geographical factors, institutional factors, development factors, old industrial region, fourth industrial revolution, regulatory environment

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15826/recon.2020.6.4.025

Copyright (c) 2020 Irina I. Rakhmeeva