Rethinking regional competitiveness: Catalonia's international and interregional trade, 1995-2006
Studies of competitiveness tend to focus on a local economy's global interactions, particularly its international trade. But for countries that are at least mid-sized (such as Spain), interregional trade tends to be as large as or significantly larger than international trade. The case of Catalonia illustrates the importance of interregional flows in truly analyzing and devising strategies for a region's external competitiveness. Accounting for interregional trade changes and performing analyses of Catalonia's overall merchandise trade balance, which sectors generate external surpluses as opposed to deficits, and who Catalonia's key trading partners are, and the use of a gravity-model approach to estimate external border effects at the regional level for Catalonia and the rest of Spain, reveal significant variations by sector and by trading partner, generally higher external border effects for exports than imports, and declines in border effects over time - but with a discernible flattening in recent years.
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