VolRC RAS scientific journal (online edition)

Journal section "Territorial economy"

Regional Settlement System Balance: Assessment under Zipf’s Law and Impact on the Regional Development

Pavlov Y.V.

Volume 8, Issue 2, 2020

Pavlov Yu.V. Regional Settlement System Balance: Assessment under Zipf’s Law and Impact on the Regional Development. Territorial development issues, 2020, vol. 8, no. 2 (52). DOI: 10.15838/tdi.2020.2.52.1 URL: http://vtr.isert-ran.ru/article/28521?_lang=en

DOI: 10.15838/tdi.2020.2.52.1

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The ongoing trend of concentrating population to the large urban agglomerations can lead to formation of anthro deserted areas: the population of entire regions in Russia is decreasing, and even within relatively favorable regions uninspiring territories for work and life are emerging. This phenomenon carries a lot of risks, in particular for national security. However, the formation of even settlement system will not allow to achieve significant agglomerative effect, which is especially tough on concentration of resources, enterprises and population. Similarly, excessive concentration does not give a positive effect, because in this case, the effect of diseconomy is observed that is opposite to agglomerative one. It is important to find the positive balance for regional development in the settlement system. Within the present article the author’s methodology based on Zipf’s law is elaborated. It allows to estimate the degree of the settlement system’s balanced state and reveals the focus and power of its impact on the regional development. The object of the study is comprised of 37 municipalities of the Samara Oblast, covering 100% of the region’s population. The study reveals that during the period of 2010-2018 the settlement system has become more unbalanced in it: the share of large municipalities has increased, and the deviation of real share from ideal one has risen in 30 municipalities out of 37. Then the researcher has checked the hypothesis regarding the interrelation between the rates of the region’s development and the settlement system’s balanced state. The author has used the annual growth rate of GRP per capita at prices of the previous year as the estimated figure of the rates of the region’s development. In the course of the study, the researcher has revealed the negative functional and statistical link that can be described as the following: the more is the imbalance of the settlement system regarding Zipf’s law in terms of excessive concentration of residents in the large municipalities, the less are the rates of the region’s development. The possible explanation of this phenomenon can be the effect of diseconomy: the limit of effective population’s concentration in the largest municipalities of the Samara Oblast has been reached, so it is necessary to create certain conditions for the development of medium and small municipalities


zipf’s law, settlement system, rank-size distribution, agglomerative effect