Russia's agriculture: eight years in transition - convergence or divergence of regional efficiency
In this paper, we consider how Russian Agriculture has developed since the constitution of the Russian Federation. The analysis is based on Oblast level data of 75 territorial units during the period from 1993 to 1998 and is focusing on technical efficiency (TE), technological change, and (both aggregated as overall index) on Total Factor Productivity (TFP). Given that the initial natural conditions were approximately constant the consistence of political programs, market reforms and restructuring were essential determinants of regional developments of TE and TFP above or below the common trend. If this assumption is widely true an investigation of responsible circumstances for these divergences seems to be an important task in the actual regional-economic research. This paper should provide a step of such an analysis - discover common trends, make divergences visible and detect Oblasts characterised by diverging trends. The results have shown that the agricultural TE and the technological change varied dramatically among regions. Beyond it, we have found a growing gap of TE among regions and a relative homogeneous negative trend of technical change resulting, altogether, in a divergence of regional agricultural TFP. Because agriculture is for many regions the fundamental source of income this fact is alarming, especially when the local agriculture becomes noncompetitiveness in comparison with other regions, actually or in future.
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