Spatial-territorial factors of economic growth in the Russian Federation

Rustem R. Akhunov, Azat V. Yangirov


Relevance. In contemporary economic research, the study of the diversity of factors of national economic growth is gaining more and more significance, particularly with regard to the so-called 'spatial-territorial factors'. In contrast to the existing concepts of regional and spatial economy, the approach described in this paper is based on the hypothesis that it is possible to accelerate national economic growth. It can be done by stimulating extended economic reproduction on the subnational level, that is, on the level of relatively independent and self-contained spatial and administrative units such as regions of the Russian Federation, municipalities, agglomerations, etc.

Research objective. The study aims to propose a decomposition of the economic growth rates in Russia by territorial units and to describe the spatial-territorial factors of national economic growth.

Data and methods. To characterize the spatial-territorial factors, we used indices of the physical volume of gross regional product (GRP) and gross value added (GVA) in types of economic activities in Russian regions in percentage to the previous year for the period of 2013-2018. The types of economic activities were specified according to the Russian Classifier of Economic Activities of 2007 (OKVED) (Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community - NACE Rev. 1.1 (2013-2016)) and OKVED-2 (NACE Rev.2 (2017-2018)).

Results. We estimated the contributions of Russian regions to national economic growth by analyzing the data on the key types of economic activities in a 6-year period (2013-2018). We also identified the regions which accounted for the largest losses in economic growth, on the one hand, and those which, on the other hand, acted as drivers of the country's economic development.

Conclusion. There is a small number of regions lagging in terms of GRP and their influence on the national rates of economic growth is also insignificant. The general rates of GRP decline in a region are determined, first and foremost, by the sluggish growth in those types of economic activities that have the largest share in GRP. The number and share of the regions which demonstrate extended economic reproduction, that is, deliver at least 2% growth a year, are also quite small. These regions make up slightly more than 19% of the country's GRP.

 The largest group of regions comprises those regions that do not go beyond the simple reproduction (their growth rates are less than 2% a year), while their share in the country's GRP exceeds 74%.

The so-called ‘heavyweights’ - regions accounting for the largest share in the country's total GRP - have the strongest effect on the national rates of economic growth, hindering it. It is the economic structure of these regions that has the biggest influence on the country's performance in such types of economic activities as wholesale and retail trade and maintenance and repair of motor vehicles. Sadly, it is in these sectors that the 'heavyweights' demonstrate the largest losses in GVA. As a result, these sectors suffer the most, which is bound to be reflected in the country's overall economic growth.


economic growth, spatial-territorial factors, regions, economic reproduction, gross regional product, types of economic activities

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