Inter-regional output distribution: a comparison of Russian and Chinese experience

T. Herzfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies report increasing inter-regional inequality in transition countries over the course of economic reforms, but most of them fail to look at the underlying dynamics. Using the cases of Russia and China, this article analyses the evolution of inter-regional output distribution during economic transition. One non-parametric method, kernel density estimation, and one parametric method, a Markov chain transition matrix, are used to evaluate the shape of the inter-regional output distribution and to evaluate regions' mobility within this distribution. Estimated distributions for both countries are skewed with long right tails. Whereas the distribution for Russian regions shows multiple modes, the hypothesis of unimodality could not be rejected for Chinese regions over the last two decades. Stationary distributions of the Markov chain transition matrices support this finding. It turns out that increasing inequality and multimodality in both countries are driven by a few outliers with very distinct characteristics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-447
JournalPost-Communist Economies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • regional economic-performance
  • growth
  • convergence
  • inequality
  • reforms
  • multimodality
  • federalism
  • evolution
  • tests

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