Socio-economic inequality in Kazakhstani regions: Assessment and impact on regional development management

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Excessive differentiation of socio-economic development of regions leads to the collapse of a single socio-economic space and the emergence of socio-economic inequality. This study assessed socio-economic inequality in Kazakhstan and its impact on regional development management. It analyzed interregional disproportion of socio-economic development of regions through the index approach using statistical data from the Bureau of National Statistics for 2011–2019. A comprehensive study of the socio-economic development of Kazakhstan and its regional differences employed the proposed index of social and economic development. It was revealed that Kazakhstan has a high level of interregional differentiation of socio-economic development, which indicates the existing socio-economic inequality, requiring the development of new and improvement of existing mechanisms to create an inclusive economy. There are significant gaps in socio-economic development between Kazakhstani regions. According to the proposed index, Kazakhstan is at the above-average level (42, B). From 2011 to 2019, the index was practically at the same level (39-42). The average social and economic development was shown by Almaty (61.1, B++), Nur-Sultan (59.9, B+), Karaganda (53.1, B+), and East Kazakhstan (51.0, B+). Low social and economic development was shown by Akmola (29.8, C+) and North Kazakhstan (22.4, C+). The difference in the socio-economic development of the regions is directly interconnected with the regional economic and social policy. According to the results, to implement state policy in inclusive development and overcome socio-economic inequality, respective measures should promote economic integration, including the mechanisms of regional, industrial, and research policy, comprising all levels of state regulation.

Acknowledgments
This study is supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan within the project “The science impact on Kazakhstan’s socio-economic development: methodology, assessment models and development scenarios” (IRN AP08052745).

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    • Figure 1. Parameters of social and economic development used to calculate the index
    • Figure 2. Socio-economic inequality in Kazakhstan, 2019
    • Table 1. Interpretation of the index of a social and economic development and its sub-indices
    • Table A1. Index and ranking of social and economic development of Kazakhstani regions, 2011–2019
    • Table A2. Index and ranking of economic development of Kazakhstani regions, 2011–2019
    • Table A3. Index and ranking of social development of Kazakhstani regions, 2011–2019
    • Conceptualization
      Umit Sermagambet, Gulzhyhan Smagulova, Wieslaw Urban
    • Data curation
      Umit Sermagambet, Raikul Yessenzhigitova
    • Formal Analysis
      Umit Sermagambet, Zaira Satpayeva
    • Funding acquisition
      Umit Sermagambet, Zaira Satpayeva
    • Investigation
      Umit Sermagambet, Zaira Satpayeva
    • Project administration
      Umit Sermagambet, Gulzhyhan Smagulova
    • Resources
      Umit Sermagambet, Raikul Yessenzhigitova
    • Software
      Umit Sermagambet, Zaira Satpayeva
    • Validation
      Umit Sermagambet, Gulzhyhan Smagulova
    • Writing – original draft
      Umit Sermagambet, Gulzhyhan Smagulova, Wieslaw Urban
    • Writing – review & editing
      Umit Sermagambet, Zaira Satpayeva
    • Methodology
      Zaira Satpayeva
    • Visualization
      Zaira Satpayeva
    • Supervision
      Gulzhyhan Smagulova, Wieslaw Urban