Regional Economics: Theory and Practice

A comparative assessment of the economic development of regions: Methodological issues

Vol. 15, Iss. 10, OCTOBER 2017

Received: 21 June 2017

Received in revised form: 10 August 2017

Accepted: 21 September 2017

Available online: 16 October 2017


JEL Classification: R11, R19, R58

Pages: 1794–1817

Krinichanskii K.V. Financial University under Government of Russian Federation, Moscow, Russian Federation

Lavrent'ev A.S. South Ural State University (National Research University), Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation

Importance The paper develops methodological issues of comparative assessment of the economic development of such objects of analysis as countries and sub-national regions.
Objectives The paper aims to develop a method to select regions for their comparative analysis. The study focuses on identifying the idiosyncratic features of a particular region, setting all general matters aside.
Methods We propose a multi-step approach to achieving the desired goal. To do this, we used a non-hierarchical method of cluster analysis (k-means method) and the comparative analysis.
Results The region selection procedures for comparative analysis make it possible to identify a group of seven regions competing for markets and resources with the model region, namely, the Chelyabinsk oblast. As a result of the analysis, it was found that export growth and reduced relative dependence on government spending were the oblast's strengths between 1999 and 2015. Investment activity sufficiently lower in comparison with the immediate competitors' one and the quality of higher education were the weaknesses of the oblast.

Keywords: economic development, regional economy, regional development policy, regional typology


  1. Popov V. Reform Strategies and Economic Performance of Russia's Regions. World Development, 2001, vol. 29, pp. 865–886. URL: Link
  2. Makarov V., Aivazyan S., Afanas'ev M. et al. [Modelling the region's economy and the effectiveness of the space of innovation]. Forsait = Foresight and STI Governance, 2016, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 76–90. (In Russ.) doi: 10.17323/1995-459X.2016.3.76.90
  3. Drobyshevskii S., Lugovoi O., Astaf'eva E. et al. Faktory ekonomicheskogo rosta v regionakh RF [Factors of economic growth in the RF regions]. Moscow, IEP Publ., 2005, 278 p.
  4. Fabbris T., Michielin F. The Economy of the Italian Regions: Recent Developments and Responses to the Economic Crisis. Working Papers, 2010, no. 1, 15 p.
  5. Pezzini M. How Regions Grow: Trends and Analysis. Paris, OECD Publishing, 2009, 144 p.
  6. Mandl I., Hurley J. Effects of Restructuring at Regional Level and Approaches to Dealing with the Consequences. Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union, 2014, 96 p. doi: 10.2806/74019
  7. O'Neill J. Building Better Global Economic BRICs. Goldman Sachs Global Economics Paper, 2001, no. 66, 26 p.
  8. Cooper J. Of BRICs and Brains: Comparing Russia with China, India, and Other Populous Emerging Economies. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2006, vol. 47, iss. 3, pp. 255–284. doi: 10.2747/1538-7216.47.3.255
  9. Veselova E.Sh. [What makes Tatarstan a successful region]. EKO = ECO, 2015, no. 1, pp. 5–24. URL: Link (In Russ.)
  10. Zimin D., Bradshaw M. Local Politics, Economic Structure, and Performance: The Case of Sakhalin. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2003, vol. 44, iss. 4, pp. 287–304.
  11. Fedorova E.A., Korkmazova B.K., Muratov M.A. [Spillover Effects of the Russian Economy: Regional Specificity]. Ekonomika regiona = Economy of Region, 2016, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 139–149. (In Russ.) doi 10.17059/2016-1-10
  12. Zubarevich N.V. [Regional Development and Regional Policy in Russia During Ten Years of Economic Growth]. Zhurnal novoi ekonomicheskoi assotsiatsii = Journal of the New Economic Association, 2009, no. 1-2, pp. 161–174. (In Russ.)
  13. Grigor'ev L.M., Urozhaeva Yu.V., Ivanov D.S. Sinteticheskaya klassifikatsiya regionov: osnova regional'noi politiki. V kn.: Rossiiskie regiony: ekonomicheskii krizis i problemy modernizatsii [Synthetic region classification: A regional policy framework. In: Russian regions: Economic crisis and modernization problems]. Moscow, TEIS Publ., 2011, pp. 34–56. URL: Link
  14. Barinova V.A., Drobyshevskii S.M., Eremkin V.A. et al. [A typology of Russian regions for regional policy purposes]. Rossiiskoe predprinimatel'stvo = Russian Journal of Entrepreneurship, 2015, no. 16, pp. 4199–4204. (In Russ.) doi: 10.18334/rp.16.23.2161
  15. Buts B., Drobyshevskii S., Kochetkova O. et al. Tipologiya rossiiskikh regionov [Typology of Russian regions]. Moscow, IEP Publ., 2002, 157 p. URL: Link
  16. Anderberg M.R. Cluster Analysis for Applications. New York, Academic Press, 1973, 359 p.
  17. Everitt B.S., Landau S., Leese M., Stahl D. Cluster Analysis. 5th Edition. London, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2011, 346 p.
  18. Mandel' I.D. Klasternyi analiz [Cluster Analysis]. Moscow, Finansy i Statistika Publ., 1988, 176 p.
  19. Leibenstein H., Tinbergen J. Shaping the World Economy: Suggestions for an International Economic Policy. The Economic Journal, 1966, vol. 76, no. 301, pp. 92–95. doi: 10.2307/2229040
  20. Leamer E. The Commodity Composition of International Trade in Manufactures: An Empirical Analysis. Oxford Economic Papers, 1974, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 350–374. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.oep.a041293
  21. Geraci V.J., Prewo W. Bilateral Trade Flows and Transport Costs. Review of Economics and Statistics, 1977, no. 59, pp. 67–74.
  22. Anderson J. A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation. The American Economic Review, 1979, vol. 69, iss. 1, pp. 106–116.
  23. Gromov A.D., Platonova D.P., Semenov D.S., Pyrova T.L. Dostupnost' vysshego obrazovaniya v regionakh Rossii. Sovremennaya analitika obrazovaniya № 8 [Access to higher education in the regions of Russia. Modern education analyst no. 8]. Moscow, HSE Publ., 2016, 32 p.

View all articles of issue


ISSN 2311-8733 (Online)
ISSN 2073-1477 (Print)

Journal current issue

Vol. 16, Iss. 10
October 2018