Conceptual framework for regional competitiveness

Budd, Leslie and Hirmis, Amer K. (2004). Conceptual framework for regional competitiveness. Regional Studies, 38(9) pp. 1015–1028.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0034340042000292610

Abstract

The concept of territorial competitiveness has gained ground in academic, policy and practitioner circles. In particular, urban competitiveness has generated a large literature. However, there is a danger that competitiveness at a territorial level becomes a conceptual chimera. The essential problem is that territorially based actors and agencies seek to position and maintain the utility of their regions and subregions by reference to a set of measures and indicators that are conceptually suspect and often empirically weak. The degree to which regions compete depends on a manifold set of factors. The paper proposes a conceptual framework for regional competitiveness based on combining the competitive advantage of firms and the comparative advantage of a regional economy. The conceptual transmission mechanism to regional competitiveness combines Liebenstein's theory of 'X-inefficiency' and agglomeration economies. The paper begins with a review of competitiveness and its literature. It then investigates the regional balance of payment constraint in the absence of a real regional exchange rate. In conclusion, it asks whether the conceptual approach was appropriate for a study of benchmarking indicators for the London region in comparison with other metropolises.

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