Inclusive Growth and Regional Sustainability of Russia
Vera Barinova, Stepan Zemtsov
The article presents a methodology for assessing inclusive growth in Russian regions by constructing an integral index. We sought to understand how economic growth, based on high energy prices over several years, led to a smoothing of inequalities and reduction in poverty and environmental pressures in regions, as well as the nature of the trends in recent years. It was revealed that a number of developed regions, e.g., Leningrad, Tyumen, Kaluga, Voronezh, Moscow oblasts, the Republic of Tatarstan, and St. Petersburg, significantly improved their indicators from 1998 to 2016, especially in the area of increased life expectancy and household incomes, while reducing environmental load. However, from 2012 to 2015, the value of the inclusive growth index in Russia decreased to the 2007 level, and its differentiation between regions sharply increased. The results of a decade of work to improve the sustainability and uniformity of regional development were partially nullified. In 2016, the value of the index recovered to the 2011 level. To substantiate political recommendations, it is important that regions in which economic growth was accompanied by positive externalities in the social and environmental spheres were more resistant to external shocks. The developed index can further be used for a comprehensive assessment of the socioeconomic development of regions from the aspect of sustainability and inclusiveness.