March 2020

IZA DP No. 13039: Regional Convergence in Russia: Estimating a Neoclassical Growth Model

Hartmut Lehmann, Aleksey Oshchepkov, Maria Giulia Silvagni

revised version published as 'Regional Convergence in Russia: Estimating an Augmented Solow Model' in: Economic Systems, 2023, 47 (4), 101128

In this paper, we study convergence in per capita gross regional products across Russian regions in the period from 1996 to 2017. To this purpose, we estimate growth equations, which are directly derived from a neoclassical growth model, augmented with human capital and migration. To our knowledge, this is the first paper that explicitly applies a neoclassical model to analyze the regional convergence process in the Russian case. We also take into account possible spatial effects and do a series of other robustness checks. Our main estimates establish a convergence rate of around 2% per year. While we fail to find any role of human capital for regional economic growth, we find that interregional migration and interdependencies of the growth experience of Russian regions contribute to economic convergence between them.