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Economic Macroregions: An Integration Phenomenon or Political–Geographical Expediency? The Case of the Far East

P. A. Minakir (), A. G. Isaev (), A. N. Dem’yanenko () and O. M. Prokapalo ()
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P. A. Minakir: Institute of Economic Research, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
A. G. Isaev: Institute of Economic Research, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
A. N. Dem’yanenko: Institute of Economic Research, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences
O. M. Prokapalo: Institute of Economic Research, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences

Regional Research of Russia, 2020, vol. 10, issue 3, 327-343

Abstract: Abstract The division of Russia’s economic space into macroregions is presented in the Spatial Development Strategy of the Russian Federation as one of the main fragments of the policy for mobilizing the spatial factor of national economic development. This article considers the general problem of economic zoning as a means of formalizing the structure of the national economic space and the allocating interacting territorial fragments within its borders. It is shown that in the presence of canonical solutions to the problem of spatial partitioning at the theoretical level (for example, W. Christaller’s hexagons) there is no empirical solution that is universal for all types of spaces and for all time periods. It is noted that in Russia, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation, the task of determining the optimal network of economic regions has always been and still a key issue. This is evidenced by the recently approved Spatial Development Strategy of the Russian Federation. One fundamental feature of the problem of determining the optimal network of regions due to the large scale of the geographic space and exceptional heterogeneity and high degree of polarization of the economic space is multilevel economic zoning. A special place in the system of economic regions belongs to macroregions. The authors consider the criteria for distinguishing large economic regions. They analyze the validity of identifying of the Far Eastern Economic Macroregion defined in the Spatial Development Strategy of the Russian Federation (formed by including Zabaykalsky krai and the Republic of Buryatia in the Far Eastern Federal District) among 12 macroregions in the country. This article analyzes the theoretical and empirical foundations of macroeconomic zoning at the present stage. Particular emphasis is placed on determining the configuration of market zones of federal subjects. It is shown that neither the macroregion that existed in the Far Eastern Federal District, nor the one formed in November 2018, meets the economic criteria for dividing the economic space. Both of them represent a more chaotic set of multidirectional market zones, rather than a relatively uniform economic landscape.

Keywords: macroregion; market zone; spatial development strategy; interregional trade; economic integration; Far Eastern Federal District; Far Eastern macroregion; Russian Far East (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1134/S2079970520030107

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