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Dynamics of Russian regional clubs: The time of divergence

Frederic Carluer

Regional Studies, 2005, vol. 39, issue 6, 713-726

Abstract: Carluer F. (2005) The dynamics of Russian regional clubs: the time of divergence. Regional Studies 39 , 713-726. This paper examines the evolution of Russian regional disparities in the light of the theory of convergence clubs. The first part presents the limits of the methodology traditionally used in most studies of the convergence process. For example, the choice of indicators (usually per-capita income or labour productivity) and the statistical test applied (beta- or sigma-convergence) strongly influence the results obtained, sometimes adversely. Then, following the works of Quah and Fingleton, the superiority of an analysis of distribution dynamics, especially one based on Markov chains, is explained. The second part presents the main results based on the per-capita regional income of the Russian database (88 regions) over a fairly long period (1985-99). The key conclusion is the strong diversity of regional evolutions, which are characterized by both inertia (rich regions remain rich, poor regions remain poor) and mobility (some rich regions become poor and vice versa). The value of an analysis of downward mobility relative to upward mobility (34 regions to 11), as well as of economic geography through specific spatial dynamics, are demonstrated. A clear bimodality (implosion of the two intermediate clubs) emerges, which confirms the present stratification process. In other words, Russia is emerging as a multipolarized economy.

Keywords: Growth empirics; Convergence clubs; Regional disparities; Stratification; Bimodality; Dynamique spatio-economique; Clubs de convergence; Disparites regionales; Stratification; Bimodalite; Wachstumsempirik; Konvergenzklubs; Regionale Ungleichheiten; Stratifizierung; Doppelmodalitat; Datos empiricos sobre el crecimiento; Clubes de convergencia; Disparidades regionales; Estratificacion; Modalidad binaria; JEL classifications: F14; L6; O30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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DOI: 10.1080/00343400500213564

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