Ya. Yu. Eferin. The Role of Strategies in Diversification of Regional Economies: Planned Development versus Unplanned Results

UDК 332.14

DOI: 10.15507/2413-1407.115.029.202102.283-305

Introduction. The issues of long-term strategic planning are crucial for the successful socio-economic development of Russia’s regions. At the same time, the validity of the choice of industry priorities is often not supported by a comprehensive analysis of the unique competitive advantages of the region, which makes it difficult to achieve the established goals. The purpose of the study is to identify the links between the stated priorities and structural changes in Russia’s regions, particularly, the emergence of new industries of specialization in the regions.

Materials and Methods. The study was based on the strategies for socio-economic development of Russia’s regions adopted in 2005–2010. The method of content analysis of documents was employed when forming a list of the priority industries declared in the strategies of 66 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The adapted methodology of the European Cluster Observatory for identifying industry specializations was used to determine the diversification of regional industry portfolios.

Results. The conducted analysis of the strategic documents has shown that the industry priorities of Russia’s regions do not reveal their unique specializations, but are focused on the sectors which are most common for the Russian economy. In half of the strategies the food industry and heavy engineering are named as priorities for long-term development. Diversification of regional industry portfolios has been recorded in 46 regions. A total of 76 cases of industries emerging in regional portfolios from 2005 to 2015 have been identified. In 11 regions, the declared industry priorities have not been associated to the real processes of diversification.

Discussion and Conclusion. The study has revealed that the diversification of the economy in many Russia’s regions is unplanned. This is not so much the result of a strategic decision of regional authorities, but rather the impact of factors that are not taken into account when choosing industry priorities, which have a significant impact on industry development. The provisions and regional classifications developed in the article may contribute to the development of the theory of public and municipal administration in terms of assessing the impact of managerial decisions on the socio-economic development of territories.

Keywords: sectoral development of regions, strategic planning, sectoral priority, structural transformation, diversification of economy, structural policy, regional economic policy

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.

Acknowledgements. The author expresses gratitude to E. S. Kutsenko, Cand. Sci. (Economics), for consulting and expert support, as well as to the experts of the Russian Cluster Observatory for their help with data collection. The author expresses special gratitude to the reviewer, whose valuable comments made it possible to improve the quality of the text.

For citation: Eferin Ya.Yu. The Role of Strategies in Diversification of Regional Economies: Planned Development versus Unplanned Results. Regionology = Russian Journal of Regional Studies. 2021; 29(2):283-305. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15507/2413-1407.115.029.202102.283-305


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Submitted 09.11.2020; approved after reviewing 29.01.2021; accepted for publication 08.02.2021.

About the author:

Yaroslav Yu. Eferin, Postgraduate, Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, National Research University Higher School of Economics (20 Myasnitskaya St., Moscow 101000, Russian Federation); Analyst, Digital Development Global Practice, World Bank (36/1 Bolshaya Molchanovka St., Moscow 121069, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4132-2033, yeferin@worldbank.org

The author and his academic supervisor have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
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