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Territorial Competitiveness and Economic Development Policy

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  • James R. Wilson

    () (Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness)

Abstract

There are fundamental links between academic treatments of ‘economic development’ and of the popular policydiscourse of ‘competitiveness’. Productivity-focused analyses of competitiveness are inherently related to market-centric analyses of development that have economic growth as their objective. However, a consensus is emerging onthe need for broader conceptions of economic progress, built in particular on recognition of: (i) the inconsistency ofshort-term, unconditional growth with environmental sustainability; and (ii) the complexity of relationships betweenincome, other socio-economic factors and actual well-being. This paper argues that moving ‘beyond income’ hasimplications for competitiveness discourse. Understanding the drivers of productivity will remain a key concern, asincome will remain a core component of economic development. However, there is a danger that the dominance of anarrow, market-focused competitiveness discourse will continue to skew policy. The paper argues that the verypopularity of the competitiveness concept among policy-makers in fact presents an opportunity: broaderconceptualisations may facilitate the integration into policy of wider socio-economic concerns. Analysis of the contested competitiveness concept is combined with reflection on recent advances in the measurement of economicprogress in proposing the necessary re-conceptualisation of competitiveness for today’s economic developmentchallenges.

Suggested Citation

  • James R. Wilson, 2008. "Territorial Competitiveness and Economic Development Policy," Working Papers 200802, Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness.
  • Handle: RePEc:ivc:wpaper:200802
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles R. Hulten & Edwin R. Dean & Michael J. Harper, 2001. "New Developments in Productivity Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hult01-1, January.
    2. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
    3. Marcel P. Timmer & Mary O’Mahony & Bart van Ark, 2007. "EU KLEMS Growth and Productivity Accounts: An Overview," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 14, pages 71-85, Spring.
    4. repec:dgr:rugggd:200363 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Timmer, Marcel P. & Ypma, Gerard & Ark, Bart van der, 2003. "IT in the European Union: driving productivity divergence?," GGDC Research Memorandum 200363, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    6. Charles R. Hulten, 2001. "Total Factor Productivity: A Short Biography," NBER Chapters,in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. van Ark, Bart, 1998. "Productivity," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 171-174, June.
    8. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2005. "Productivity, Volume 3: Information Technology and the American Growth Resurgence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 3, number 0262101114, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhisma K. Bhusal & James R. Wilson & Susana Franco, 2014. "Rethinking Policy Intervention for the Transition towards Competitive Trade-Led Green Growth," Working Papers 2014R02, Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness.

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