Экономическая активность регионов России
The paper deals with the issues of concentration of economic activity in Russian regions influenced not only by factors of the “first nature” - presence of minerals, fertile land, favorable geographic position, but also by factors of the “second nature”, in particular, the agglomeration effects and potential savings in the scale. Analysis of the geographic concentration and the region-specific focus reflects the general trend in the concentration of industrial production, investment and human resources, provides the necessary information framework for a harmonized economic policy. The purpose for the study is to theoretically justify and analyze economic activity concentration in terms of assessment of concentration and specialization of Russian regions over time. The paper reveals terminological aspects of concentration, agglomeration, specialization, agglomeration economics and urbanization. The applied methodological tools of assessment include the localization factor, Herfindahl-Hirschman and Krugman concentration and specialization indices, Gini index. The research novelty lies in the formation of the terminological framework of the location theory, namely the definition of agglomeration as a process of concentration of activities in a region supported by circular logic at several levels with a distinction between its two types - “economy of localization” and “economy of urbanization”; in the identification of the relative and absolute types of geographic concentration. Elements of the research novelty are contained in the methodological framework of the study - the system of traditional indicators for assessing the concentration and specialization of regional economy is supplemented by relevant Krugman indices similar in content to the Herfindahl-Hirschman indices, but reflecting the heterogeneity of development to a greater extent; the localization factor is used to identify potential economic clusters in the territory when making decisions in the process of regions’ management. High concentration of investment and industrial production in Russian regions, consistent upward trend of the labor force is revealed. This situation leads to increased inter-regional inequality. The manufacturing industry has experienced a decline in employment. The tendency towards concentration is identified in the pulp and paper industry, publishing and printing, metallurgy, manufacturing of transport vehicles and equipment, and chemical production. The regions with a high level of specialization include Kamchatka Krai, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, the Sakhalin, Magadan, Ivanovo and Lipetsk oblasts. The obtained results can be used in scientific research to analyze the concentration of economic activity, assess the development of agglomeration processes, or as recommendations for implementing the economic policy in the regions.