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Regional Competitiveness Under New Perspectives. WWWforEurope Policy Paper No. 26

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  • Karl Aiginger
  • Matthias Firgo

Abstract

The term "competitiveness" has been used in conceptually distinct ways at the firm, regional and national levels. After primarily reviewing existing concepts at the national level, we introduce a new definition of regional competitiveness adapting definitions used in the academic literature. Specifically, we connect "outcome competitiveness" with new perspectives on a more socially inclusive and ecologically sustainable growth path, as envisaged in the WWWforEurope research programme, in which 33 European research groups are taking part. Evaluating competitiveness requires both an input assessment (costs, productivity, economic structure, capabilities) and an outcome assessment. We define regional outcome competitiveness as the ability of a region to deliver beyond-GDP goals. For regions in industrialised countries, this ability depends on innovation, education, institutions, social cohesion and ecological ambition. Given this new perspective (of broader beyond-GDP goals), social investments and ecological ambitions should not be considered costs, but rather drivers of competitiveness. This is compatible with a new innovation policy fostering non-technical innovations and a new industrial policy supporting societal goals. Applying this concept to European regions, we show which regions take the "high road" to competitiveness and compare our results with the existing literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Karl Aiginger & Matthias Firgo, 2015. "Regional Competitiveness Under New Perspectives. WWWforEurope Policy Paper No. 26," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 58501.
  • Handle: RePEc:wfo:wstudy:58501
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    4. Elena Pelinescu & Marioara Iordan & Nona Chilian & Mihaela Simionescu, 2017. "Regional Economic Competitiveness. The Case of Romania," Working papers Globalization - Economic, Social and Moral Implications, April 2017 13, Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies.
    5. Fernández Domínguez, Amilcar O. & Gómez Hernández, Denise, 2019. "A multidimensional approach to the well-being of the population of the states of Mexico," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    6. Peter Mayerhofer, 2017. "Oberösterreichs Wirtschaft im europäischen Konkurrenzumfeld. Zweiter Bericht zur internationalen Wettbewerbsfähigkeit, 2017," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 60592.
    7. Peter Mayerhofer & Matthias Firgo & Stefan Schönfelder, 2015. "Vierter Bericht zur internationalen Wettbewerbsfähigkeit Wiens," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 60625.
    8. Katarzyna Chrobocińska, 2021. "Comparative Analysis of Regional Competitiveness in Poland from 2010–2019 in the Context of the Concept of Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(6), pages 1-17, March.
    9. Michael Keating, 2017. "Contesting European regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(1), pages 9-18, January.
    10. Tatyana Boikova & Sandija Zeverte-Rivza & Peteris Rivza & Baiba Rivza, 2021. "The Determinants and Effects of Competitiveness: The Role of Digitalization in the European Economies," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(21), pages 1-22, October.

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