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Where russians should live: a counterfactual alternative to Soviet location policy


  • Michajlova, Tatjana


This paper investigates the extent of distortions in Russia's spatial economy that are inherited from the Soviet system. Using Canada as a benchmark for spatial dynamics of economic activity in a market economy, I construct the spatial allocation of population that would result in Russia, given its initial conditions and existing regional endowments, in the absence of Soviet location policy. The results show that Siberia and the Far East were overpopulated by about 14.5 million people by the end of the Soviet period. Overdevelopment of Siberia comes at the expense of the European area of the country. This discrepancy persists, even after adjusting the simulated counter- factual allocation for WWII.

Suggested Citation

  • Michajlova, Tatjana, 2012. "Where russians should live: a counterfactual alternative to Soviet location policy," EconStor Preprints 121959, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:esprep:121959

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Josep-Maria Arauzo-Carod & Daniel Liviano-Solis & Miguel Manjón-Antolín, 2010. "Empirical Studies In Industrial Location: An Assessment Of Their Methods And Results," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 685-711.
    2. repec:idb:idbbks:343 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Marc Schramm, 2004. "The strategic bombing of German cities during World War II and its impact on city growth," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 201-218, April.
    4. Redding, Stephen & Venables, Anthony J., 2004. "Economic geography and international inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
    5. Carlton, Dennis W, 1983. "The Location and Employment Choices of New Firms: An Econometric Model with Discrete and Continuous Endogenous Variables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 440-449, August.
    6. Yuri Andrienko & Sergei Guriev, 2004. "Determinants of interregional mobility in Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(1), pages 1-27, March.
    7. H. Hanson, Gordon, 2005. "Market potential, increasing returns and geographic concentration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, September.
    8. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
    9. Eduardo Lora & Alejandro Gaviria & John Luke Gallup, 2003. "Is Geography Destiny?: Lessons from Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 343.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    11. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 959-972, November.
    12. repec:idb:brikps:59398 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. John Luke Gallup & Alejandro Gaviria & Eduardo Lora, 2003. "Is Geography Destiny? Lessons from Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14454, September.
    14. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
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    More about this item


    location policy; Russia;

    JEL classification:

    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems


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