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Competitiveness, Clusters and Policy at the Regional Level: Rhetoric vs. Practice in Designing Policy for Depressed Regions

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  • Argentino Pessoa

    () (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)

Abstract

This paper reviews the most important theoretical foundations of the spatial competitiveness conception, dealing with three levels of competitiveness: the country, the region and the tourism destination. Consequently, it draws attention to the main aspects that such concepts of competitiveness must include and it links the regional competitiveness with the related concept of cluster. Therefore, section 2 reviews the key aspects of competitiveness at the first level highlighting the role of the main forces acting at the national level. Section 3 extends the concept to the regional level, highlighting the critical aspects that must be considered when policy tries to increase the competitiveness of a particular region. Section 4 analyses the possibilities of extending the competitiveness concept to tourism destinations. Next, the paper analyses the literature on policy advice and discuss the inconsistency between the theory and the policy designed to promote regional competitiveness. Finally, the paper presents some concluding remarks on regional policy applied to depressed regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Argentino Pessoa, 2010. "Competitiveness, Clusters and Policy at the Regional Level: Rhetoric vs. Practice in Designing Policy for Depressed Regions," FEP Working Papers 386, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  • Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:386
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Ben Gardiner & Ron Martin & Tyler Peter, 2004. "Competitiveness, Productivity and Economic Growth across the European Regions," ERSA conference papers ersa04p333, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Michael Porter, 2003. "The Economic Performance of Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6-7), pages 549-578.
    4. Argentino Pessoa, 2005. "“Ideas” driven growth: the OECD evidence," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 4(1), pages 46-67, April.
    5. Michael Kitson & Ron Martin & Peter Tyler, 2004. "Regional Competitiveness: An Elusive yet Key Concept?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 991-999.
    6. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
    7. Ian R. Gordon & Paul C. Cheshire, 1998. "original: Territorial competition: Some lessons for policy," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 32(3), pages 321-346.
    8. Delgado, Mercedes & Porter, Michael E. & Stern, Scott, 2014. "Clusters, convergence, and economic performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(10), pages 1785-1799.
    9. Krugman, Paul R, 1996. "Making Sense of the Competitiveness Debate," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 17-25, Autumn.
    10. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
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    12. Tisdell, C., 1987. "Tourism, The Environment and Profit," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 13-30.
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    15. Mark Lorenzen, 2001. "Localized Learning and Policy: Academic Advice on Enhancing Regional Competitiveness through Learning," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 163-185, March.
    16. Argentino Pessoa, 2008. "Tourism and Regional Competitiveness: the Case of the Portuguese Douro Valley," FEP Working Papers 299, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    17. Camagni, Roberto, 2002. "On the concept of territorial competitiveness: sound or misleading?," ERSA conference papers ersa02p518, European Regional Science Association.
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    Cited by:

    1. Argentino Pessoa, 2011. "Externalities, clusters and economic growth: The Cluster Policy Paradox," ERSA conference papers ersa11p896, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Argentino Pessoa, 2012. "Regional cluster policy: key features and critical issues," ERSA conference papers ersa12p250, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    clusters; competitiveness; regional policy; tourism;

    JEL classification:

    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • R19 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Other
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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