Economic geography

Economic geography. Area of geography belonging to the social sciences and dealing with the geographic distribution of, and the interconnections among, a society’s resources and its production, as well as with the special features of the development of these two factors. Different departments of economic geography investigate the distribution of natural resources in various countries or regions; territorial complexes of production (regional economic geography or economic regionalization); the distribution of population, industry, farming, transportation, and communications; and other economic factors. Besides cartographic research, economic geography employs in its methodology statistical sampling, comparative tables, and mathematical models. Research on Ukraine’s economic geography was tied for a long time to geographic and economic studies.

The economic geography of Ukraine began to be studied in the mid-18th century. The first studies were regional economic-statistical descriptions by Vasyl H. Ruban and Dmytro Pashchenko. They became more sophisticated in the 19th century when the economic-statistical studies of Mykola Arandarenko, Apolon Skalkovsky, Dmytro Zhuravsky, and the zemsto economists headed by Oleksander Rusov appeared. The first survey of the economic geography of all Ukrainian territories appeared in the geographic handbook Ukraine, Land und Volk (1916) by Stepan Rudnytsky. The first reference works on the economic geography of Ukraine were published in 1918–20 with the purpose of clarifying the economic-geographic foundations of the new Ukrainian state. Their authors were Volodymyr Kistiakovsky (1918), V. Gerynovych (1919), Serhii Ostapenko (1920), Valentyn Sadovsky (1920), and Ivan Feshchenko-Chopivsky (1920). In 1918 Pavlo Tutkovsky published the detailed Mapa korysnykh kopalyn Ukraïny (Map of Ukraine’s Useful Minerals). All of these works dealt only with central and eastern Ukraine.

In Soviet Ukraine economic-geographic research began at the beginning of the 1920s at the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences at the initiative of Volodymyr Vernadsky, who headed a commission for surveying the natural resources of Ukraine (in 1922 it was turned into a commission for regional studies). Many studies in economic geography were published among the works of the Social-Economic Department of the Research Commission on the Economy of Ukraine, which was chaired by Kostiantyn Vobly, and among the works of the Commission for the Study of the Productive Resources of Ukraine, which was chaired by Leonid Yasnopolsky. In this period the more important specialists in the field of economic geography were Vobly (the author of a popular textbook, 1919), Yakiv Feihin, Heorhii Kryvchenko, O. Sukhov, O. Rumiantsev, Volodymyr Kistiakovsky, and I. Zilberman. In 1928 the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences published the first geographic atlas of Ukraine in which a great deal of space was devoted to economic geography. After almost all Ukrainian institutions were abolished during Joseph Stalin’s terror, some research in economic geography continued at the Council for the Study of the Productive Resources of the Ukrainian SSR, which was established in 1934 and chaired by Oleksander Shlikhter, and, beginning in 1936, at the Institute of Economics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, which studied the productive potential of Ukraine and its economic regions in connection with the five-year plans (works by Feihin, V. Vvedensky, and others).

In Western Ukraine the leading specialist in the geography of Ukraine was Volodymyr Kubijovyč, the author and editor of Atlas Ukraïny i sumezhnykh kraïv (Atlas of Ukraine and Neighboring Countries, 1937) and Heohrafiia ukraïns'kykh i sumezhnykh zemel' (Geography of Ukrainian and Neighboring Lands, 1938). In these works he dealt also with economic geography.

After the Second World War the Institute of Economics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR continued to work on economic geography and published a series of works on the economic regionalization and cartography of Ukraine, as well as a considerable number of monographs on the different branches of industry, agriculture, transport, etc. Among its important publications were Narysy ekonomichnoï heohrafiï URSR (Studies of the Economic Geography of the Ukrainian SSR, 2 vols, 1949–52), edited by Kostiantyn Vobly; Rozvytok promyslovosti na Ukraïni (The Development of Industry in Ukraine, 3 vols, 1959–66), by Oleksii Nesterenko; Pryroda i hospodarstvo pivdennykh raioniv URSR (Nature and Economy of the Southern Regions of the Ukrainian SSR, 1953), edited by Pavel Pershin; Donbas (1956), by Leonid Yasnopolsky; Ekonomichni raiony URSR (Economic Regions of the Ukrainian SSR, 1965); Sil's'kohospodars'ki zony URSR (The Agricultural Zones of the Ukrainian SSR, 1961), by I. Mukomel; and Ekonomichna heohrafiia URSR (The Economic Geography of the Ukrainian SSR, 1st edn 1961), edited by Aleksei Koroed.

The institute also published a number of regional studies, such as Oleksii Dibrova’s work on Transcarpathia oblast (1957), P. Hudzenko’s on Sumy oblast (1958), and I. Miniakov and V. Onykiienko’s on Chernivtsi oblast (1958). From the end of the 1950s the Council for the Study of the Productive Resources of the Ukrainian SSR devoted a great deal of attention to research in economic geography, particularly under the chairmanship of academician Pavel Pershin (1957–64). It investigated the problems of the Greater Dnipro and of various regions of Ukraine, particularly the Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Lviv regions and Polisia. In 1964 a geographic section was set up at the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, and within it a department of economic geography was established to study the distribution of industry in Ukraine. Valuable studies were published by the following members of the department: O. Vashchenko, P. Voloboi, L. Koretsky, and Maksym Palamarchuk. Materials on the economic geography of Ukraine could be found in the monthly journal Ekonomika Radians'koï Ukraïny, as well as in the interdepartmental collections Ekonomichna heohrafiia (Economic Geography, published by Kyiv University) and Organizatsiia i planirovanie otraslei narodnogo khoziaistva (The Organization and Planning of the Branches of the National Economy, published by the State Planning Committee of the Ukrainian SSR and Kyiv University), and in the nonperiodic publications Heohrafiia v shkoli (Geography in the School) and Kraieznavstvo v shkoli (Regional Studies in the School). Valuable factual information could be found in Entsyklopediia narodnoho hospodarstva URSR (Encyclopedia of the National Economy of the Ukrainian SSR, 4 vols, 1969–72) and Ukraïns'ka sil's'kohospodars'ka entsyklopediia (The Ukrainian Agricultural Encyclopedia, 3 vols, 1970–3), as well as in Istoriia mist i sil Ukraïns'koï RSR (The History of the Cities and Villages of the Ukrainian SSR, 26 vols) and in the series Oblasti Ukraïns'koï RSR (The Oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR, 25 vols).

Historical materials in economic geography were available in a number of works, such as Ocherki razvitiia narodnogo khoziaistva Ukrainskoi SSR (Outlines of the Development of the National Economy of the Ukrainian SSR, 1954), edited by Oleksii Nesterenko, and Rozvytok narodnoho hospodarstva Ukraïns'koï RSR, 1917–1968 (The Development of the National Economy of the Ukrainian SSR, 1917–68, 2 vols, 1967), edited by Davyd Virnyk. The main cartographic publications were Atlas Ukraïns'koï RSR (The Atlas of the Ukrainian SSR, 1962), Atlas sil's'koho hospodarstva Ukraïns'koï RSR (The Atlas of the Agriculture of the Ukrainian SSR, 1958), and Nove na karti Ukraïny (Innovations on the Map of Ukraine, 1961).

From the end of the 1960s most of the Soviet works in economic geography were published in Russian, and their content was usually determined by the utilitarian demands of Soviet economic policy. Much attention was devoted in them to the balance of territorial complexes (works by L. Koretsky, I. Kuhukalo, I. Velychko, Oleksandr Yemelianov, Mykola Chumachenko) as well as to the economic geography of population, territorial organization, manufacture, regional planning, and urban development (M. Ihnatenko, F. Zastavny, M. Pistun, M. Khyliuk, V. Tereshchenko, and M. Shtepa). Labor resources, migration, and the specialization of and cooperation among economic firms were also studied.

Seredenko, M. Promyslovist' Radians'koï Ukraïny za sorok rokiv, 1917–1957 (Kyiv 1957)
Rybachok, M. Vstup do ekonomichnoï heohrafiï (Kyiv 1973)
Palamarchuk, M. Ekonomicheskaia geografiia Ukrainskoi SSR (Moscow 1977)

Bohdan Wynar

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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