Institutional conditions are significant factors influencing motivation, behavior and performance results of different economic agents, which, in turn, determine directions and dynamics of structural shifts in the economy. There is a wide range of research on influence of various formal and informal institutions on processes of structural dynamics and diversification of economic activity through innovations in particular. We have carried out in-depth analysis of scientific publications on institutional impact at the level of the country as a whole and regions within countries, comparisons of different countries on the impact of institutional factors on production and technological diversification and their connection to economic development. As the main conceptual approaches, we emphasize evolutionary economics, theory of agglomeration economics and new economic geography. Based on the analysis we draw a conclusion, important for Russian economy, about priority directions of changing spatial and product specialization concerning resource regions of Russia. In conclusion of the article perspective directions for the future research on mutual influence of institutions and changes of production and technological structure, which are vital for Russian economy and its regions, are formulated.