Stepan Zemtsov and Vera Barinova Assessed the Dynamics of Sustainable Development of Russian Regions

On 23 October, Vera Barinova, Head of the Innovation Economy Department and Stepan Zamtsov, Senior Researcher of the Innovation Economy Department presented the methods of evaluation – based on the WEF inclusive development index -- of sustainable growth of Russian regions in 1998-2016. The index takes simultaneously into account both economic growth and reduction of social disparities and an environmental load.

The presentation was held in St. Petersburg within the frameworks of the RSA2018 Conference: “Stability of Regions and Cities: Successful Strategies” attended by Russian and foreign researchers and experts in the field of development and promotion of the adaptability of cities and regions.

In their address, colleagues stressed that in Russia the economic growth of the 2000s was accompanied by a reduction of social and ecological problems.  A number of developed regions, for example, St. Petersburg, the Moscow Region, the Republic of Tatarstan, the Sverdlov Region, the Voronezh Region and the Tyumen Region managed to raise not only economic efficiency, but also households’ incomes and longevity of people, as well as reduce the environmental load. However, in the 2014- 2015 period in Russia the inclusive development index fell to the level of the year 2007 and its differentiation between regions increased dramatically. So, the results of the ten-year work on upgrading the stability and fairness of regional development were partially brought to naught. In 2016, the index recovered to the level of the year 2011, but exclusively owing to the economic indices.  The most important conclusion for developing political guidelines is as follows: regions where economic growth was accompanied by upgrading of the social and ecological situation were more resilient to external shocks. Economic growth (GRP) and investment growth can no longer be regarded as the sole criteria of successful development. The index in question permits to evaluate comprehensively the dynamics and differentiation of the socioeconomic development of regions in terms of stability and inclusiveness and become an effective instrument available to regional administrations and the Government of the Russian Federation for measuring the actual progress.

Presentation of the report