Using panel data for the 2001-2008 period we estimate the gravity model of migration between Russian regions. We show that though the migration flows have been quite stable, their determinants have changed substantially. Our special attention is drawn to the role of distance between the regions. Our special attention is drawn to the role of distance between regions as one of the main factors of migration. Dividing pairs of regions into nine groups according to the distance between regional centers, we estimate the model for each group separately. We find out that social and economic factors are affecting migration mainly between nearby regions. Yet the intensity of flows between distant (>500 km) areas is almost uncorrelated with indicators of social and economic development of regions.
In this paper we study convergence among Russian regions. We find that while there was no convergence in 1990s, the situation changed dramatically in 2000s. While interregional GDP per capita gaps still persist, the differentials in incomes and wages decreased substantially. We show that fiscal redistribution did not play a major role in convergence. We therefore try to understand the phenomenon of recent convergence using panel data on the interregional reallocation of capital and labor. We find that capital market in Russian regions is integrated in a sense that local investment does not depend on local savings. We also show that economic growth and financial development has substantially decreased the barriers to labor mobility. We find that in 1990s many poor Russian regions were in a poverty trap: potential workers wanted to leave those regions but could not afford to finance the move. In 2000s (especially in late 2000s), these barriers were no longer binding. Overall economic development allowed even poorest Russian regions to grow out of the poverty traps. This resulted in convergence in Russian labor market; the interregional gaps in incomes, wages and unemployment rates are now below those in Europe. The results imply that economic growth and development of financial and real estate markets eventually result in interregional convergence.
Using the Rosstat panel data for the 2001-2008 period we estimate the gravity model of migration between Russian regions. We show that though the migration flows have been quite stable, their determinants have changed substantially. Special attention is drawn to the role of distance between the regions. So far we have found out that social and economic factors are affecting migration between nearby regions. Yet our attempts to model the flows between distant (>500 km) places have lead to very poor goodness of fit.