Regional Economics: Theory and Practice

Assessment of the effectiveness of social expenditures of Russian regions through the DEA method

Vol. 16, Iss. 1, JANUARY 2018

Received: 14 July 2017

Received in revised form: 1 November 2017

Accepted: 26 November 2017

Available online: 16 January 2018


JEL Classification: H53, I38

Pages: 123–137

Tumanyants K.A. Volgograd State University, Volgograd, Russian Federation

ORCID id: not available

Sesina Yu.E. Pension Fund of Russian Federation in Volgograd Oblast, Volgograd Branch, Volgograd, Russian Federation

ORCID id: not available

Subject The article discusses the problem of measuring the efficiency of budget expenditures for financing social programs in the regions of the Russian Federation.
Objectives The article aims to calculate the changes in the poverty level and social expenditures of the consolidated budgets of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation from 2011 to 2015.
Methods The Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) method is used for the study. This methodology has been adapted for the estimation of social expenditures on the database of Russian statistics. To try out the modified method, we used indicators for all Russian regions for five years.
Results The article points out the increase in the efficiency of social expenditures of the regions during the specified period of time. Despite the decline in real terms of funding for social protection measures from regional and municipal budgets, the growth of the number of poor people in most of the Russian constituents has not occurred. The article reveals a significant interregional differentiation of values of efficiency of expenses on social policy, and ranks the subjects of the Russian Federation on this criterion.
Conclusions and Relevance The differences in the effectiveness of social spending indicate a significant potential for optimizing the use of budget funds and reducing poverty in most regions of the Russian Federation. The results of the research can be used in comparative assessment of the quality of social policy of regional and municipal authorities. Studying the experience of leading and lagging regions will improve the effectiveness of social programs in Russian regions.

Keywords: social expenditures, poverty level, data envelopment analysis, social policy


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