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Is There Convergence of Russia's Regions?: Exploring the Empirical Evidence: 1995–2010

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  • Hartmut Lehmann
  • Maria Giulia Silvagni

Abstract

This paper analyses convergence in per capita gross regional product of Russia’s regions during the period 1995-2010, when regional data are available. Using a panel regression framework we find no evidence for beta-convergence. Instead we find divergence, which is, however, attenuated over time. Robustness checks that use regional real income instead of gross regional product confirm this outcome as do non-parametric estimates of convergence, namely estimates using Markov transition probability matrices and stochastic kernel plots of regional relative income. Decompositions of regional income and gross regional product also find no sigma-convergence of Russian regions. These decompositions point to the geographical concentration of extractive activities in the Urals and of business services and of the public administration in the Moscow area as the main culprit for this lack of convergence. They also establish that despite reforms to equalize provisions of public goods across Russia, the social services sector of the public administration, education and health still do not have the expected equalizing impact on regional income. Y a-t-il convergence entre régions de Russie ? : Exploration des preuves empiriques: 1995-2010 Cet article analyse la convergence du produit régional brut per capita entre régions de Russie au cours de la période 1995-2010, lorsque les données régionales sont disponibles. En utilisant une régression de panel, nous ne trouvons aucune preuve de bêta-convergence. Nous trouvons au contraire une divergence qui s’atténue toutefois au fil du temps. Nous confirmons ces résultats avec deux tests de robustesse : un qui utilise le revenu régional réel au lieu du produit régional brut, un autre basé sur des estimations non paramétriques de convergence, à savoir des estimations des matrices de probabilité de transition de Markov et une représentation de kernel stochastiques du revenu régional relatif. Des décompositions du revenu régional et du produit régional brut ne montrent pas non plus de sigma-convergence entre régions russes. Ces décompositions soulignent la concentration géographique des activités extractives dans l'Oural et de services aux entreprises et de l'administration publique dans la région de Moscou comme les principaux responsables de ce manque de convergence. Elles établissent également que malgré les réformes pour égaliser les provisions de biens publics à travers la Russie, le secteur des services sociaux de l'administration publique, l'éducation et la santé n'ont toujours pas l'impact attendu sur l'égalisation des revenus régionaux.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 1083.

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Date of creation: 06 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1083-en

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Keywords: convergence; Russian regions; regional inequality decomposition; regional distribution dynamics; convergence; décomposition inter-régionale de l'inégalité; régions russes; dynamique de distribution régionale;

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