For citation: Myslyakova, Yu. G. (2020). Genetic Approach in Studies of Sustainable Regional Economic Development. Zhurnal Economicheskoj Teorii [Russian Journal of Economic Theory], 17 (4), 837-848.
The article discusses a new, genetic approach to problems of sustainable regional economic development. The article describes the methodological aspects of this approach and shows how it can be applied for meso-economic studies and search for solutions to sustainable development problems. Social defense mechanisms provide social cohesion and enable the society to resist internal and external economic shocks. The hypothesis tested in the article is that the social immunity of a territory (or the territory’s defense mechanisms) affects its sustainable economic development. To test this hypothesis, we developed a methodological framework for evaluating the social immunity of a territory. This methodology was then applied to the case of the Ural Federal District, more specifically, Sverdlovsk, Chelyabinsk and Tyumen regions in the period between 2010 and 2018. It was shown that the proposed methodology can be applied to model the core of social immunity of any region by using the Frobenius norms, reflecting positive and negative social transformations. The hypothesis was thus confirmed and the conclusion was made that the lack of social immunity in a territory results in its increased vulnerability to external shocks, both random and regular, and in economic entities’ diminished ability to benefit from the economic effects.