Inclusive development: Assessment of regional inequality in Kazakhstan and measures to reduce it


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In recent years, inequality in the economic and social development of regions and population has increased in Kazakhstan. The purpose of this paper is to assess the level of differences between the regions of Kazakhstan in the field of social, economic, innovation, and infrastructural inclusion and offer recommendations for reducing regional inequality. The research hypothesis is that the high level of economic inequality of the regions determines the high level of differences in the field of social inclusion, inclusion in the field of infrastructure and innovation. The assessment of regional differences was carried out according to four groups of economic, social, innovative, and infrastructural indicators; private and integral indices of inclusive development of regions were calculated. The gaps between the highest and lowest index by groups were revealed: social inclusion – 3.37; economic inclusion – 7.45; infrastructure inclusion – 2.96; innovative inclusion – 6.67. A map of inclusive development of the regions of Kazakhstan is developed. Estimates showed that despite the large gap in the economic development of the regions, the gap in social and infrastructural development remained smaller. In cases where the gap between the maximum and minimum values of the index in the regions increased, more and more regions found themselves in the group with a low level of inclusive development.

This study is funded by the Science Committee of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Grant No. AP09259004 “Priorities and mechanisms of inclusive regional development of Kazakhstan in the context of overcoming the economic recession”).
We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers and issue editors for their helpful comments.

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    • Table 1. Indicators of inclusive development of Kazakhstan’s regions and their coding
    • Table 2. Private and integral indices of inclusive development of the regions of Kazakhstan, 2021
    • Table 3. Mapping of inclusive development of the regions of Kazakhstan
    • Conceptualization
      Nailya Nurlanova, Farida Alzhanova
    • Formal Analysis
      Nailya Nurlanova, Farida Alzhanova, Nurgul Saparbek, Farkhat Dnishev
    • Funding acquisition
      Nailya Nurlanova
    • Investigation
      Nailya Nurlanova, Farida Alzhanova, Nurgul Saparbek, Farkhat Dnishev
    • Project administration
      Nailya Nurlanova
    • Resources
      Nailya Nurlanova, Farida Alzhanova
    • Software
      Nailya Nurlanova, Nurgul Saparbek
    • Supervision
      Nailya Nurlanova
    • Validation
      Nailya Nurlanova, Farida Alzhanova, Farkhat Dnishev
    • Writing – original draft
      Nailya Nurlanova, Farkhat Dnishev
    • Writing – review & editing
      Nailya Nurlanova, Farida Alzhanova
    • Data curation
      Farida Alzhanova, Nurgul Saparbek
    • Methodology
      Farida Alzhanova
    • Visualization
      Farida Alzhanova, Nurgul Saparbek