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Regional Factors in the Development of the ICT Sector in Russia


The development of the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector is a priority of economic policy in many countries, including Russia. The ICT sector is the main source of technology creation that transforms all sectors of the economy, determining their competitiveness in a changing world. At present, the size and contribution of the ICT sector to the Russian economy is much less than in the world’s leading countries. The spatial structure of the sector is highly concentrated in a small group of regions, accompanied by an increase in the digital divide between regions. The three leading regions include Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Moscow oblast. These regions account for more than a third of the sector’s employment and almost two-thirds of ICT spending. An empirical assessment of regional factors influencing the dynamics of the number of people employed in the ICT sector was carried based on panel data using the Arellano–Bond estimator. The assessment showed that the factors significant for growth are population size, the share of university students, GRP per capita, and the share of high-tech industry in manufacturing. Large and wealthy regions with a developed education system and high-tech business are the most attractive for workers and companies in the ICT field, and their advantage is supported by the inflow of trained personnel from other regions. When elaborating state support measures for ICT development, it is necessary to take into account the significant differences between regions both in the potential for creating new technologies and the possibilities for their development, and to use a predominantly selective policy that takes into account the diversity of regional economic systems.

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Fig. 1.


  1. Determining the composition of the ICT sector is a debatable field. In this study, we used Russian statistical data that comply with international statistical standards [10].



  4. The Nenets, Khanty-Mansi, and Yamalo-Nenets autonomous okrugs were considered separately, and the corresponding Arkhangelsk and Tyumen oblasts were considered without autonomous okrugs. The Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol were excluded, since data for these regions are available only since 2014.

  5. In order to check the correctness and reliability of the estimates, Arellano–Bond, Sargan, Hansen, and Sargan–Hansen tests were carried out. In this model, the problem of heteroscedasticity arises, since the analysis is performed for the regions of the Russian Federation, which have different scales. This means the model errors are characterized by different variances. In this case, the Sargan test is inapplicable, since with heteroscedasticity in the model, this test erroneously indicates the model’s poor quality, as noted in [16]. Therefore, to assess the quality of the constructed models, one should rely on the Hansen and Sargan-Hansen tests, which confirm the reliability of the estimates obtained.

  6. In Russia, IT professionals can expect two to three job offers at a time, so they are able to confidently seek new positions [38].


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The authors are grateful to S.A. Kuznetsova and A.T. Yusupova for valuable comments and recommendations which aided the writing of the article.


The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 19-010-00731 “Comprehensive Analysis of the Heterogeneity of Russian Regions and Assessment of Its Impact on Socioeconomic Development”).

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Correspondence to N. A. Kravchenko, S. R. Khalimova or A. I. Ivanova.

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Kravchenko, N.A., Khalimova, S.R. & Ivanova, A.I. Regional Factors in the Development of the ICT Sector in Russia. Reg. Res. Russ. 11, 91–100 (2021).

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  • ICT sector
  • regional determinants
  • regional factors
  • employment
  • Arellano–Bond estimator