The feasibility of benchmarking indicators of regional competitiveness

Budd, Leslie and Hirmis, Amer (2003). The feasibility of benchmarking indicators of regional competitiveness. In: Reinventing the Region in the Global Economy Regional Studies Association International Congress, University of Pisa, 12-15 April, 12-15 Apr 2003, University of Pisa.



The concept of territorial competitiveness has gained ground in academic, policy and practitioner circles. In particular, urban competitiveness has generated a large literature that has informed the increased interest in and development of regional competitiveness. There is, however, a danger that competitiveness at a territorial level becomes a conceptual chimera. The critique of national competitiveness made by Paul Krugman that 'firms compete, nations don’t' could equally be applied at sub-national territorial levels. The essential problem is that territorially-based actors and agencies seek to position
and maintain the utility of their regions and sub-regions by reference to a set of measures and indicators that are
conceptually suspect and empirically weak.

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