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The relevance of this study is determined by the key priority of socio-economic development in Russia — stimulation of non-resource non-energy exports. There is a vast body of research on the influence of exports on the economic growth of countries and their regions. In this study, we provide an overview of the theoretical and empirical approaches to this problem and build their typology. The approaches were compared by looking at the way they interpret the following contradiction: exports form a part of GDP and at the same time influence the type and way of production in the country, which can have a negative impact on GDP. We divided the selected approaches into groups depending on the way they evaluate the effects of exports: as unconditionally positive; as positive when combined with other factors; as neutral, or negative. We also described the mechanisms of exports’ influence, including ‘micro-factors’ and additional factors necessary for a positive effect or to justify its absence. Each of the approaches takes into account a certain factor (or component) of the macro-economic conditions or a certain characteristic of exports as a factor of economic growth. The existing approaches complement each other. The differences between them stem from the macro-economic context and characteristics of national exports. Our findings can be used to design the research methodology of further studies and they can also be of interest to government agencies designing export strategies and monitoring the effects of exports development.
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