A model to evaluate the regional competitiveness of the EU regions

by Mereuta, Cezar , Albu, Lucian Liviu , Iordan, Marioara and Chilian, Mihaela Nona
Published in Romanian Journal of Economic Forecasting,
volume 8 issue3, 2007.

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The starting point is the investigation of competitiveness – resource and measure of development within the context of internationalization and globalization of the world economy. At the regional level, competitiveness must capture the distinguishing features that influence the overall competitiveness of the economic agents located in a certain region, despite the usual mix of highly and less competitive economic agents. Such features might comprise, among others, social and physical infrastructure, labor skills and public institutions’ efficiency. Defining the regional competitiveness and correct identification of its determinants may be achieved in different manners – either adaptations for the regional level of the definitions of macroeconomic or microeconomic competitiveness are attempted and the corresponding determinants are identified, or other ways to “deal with” the notion and to identify and, eventually, to aggregate the corresponding determinants are pursued. In their attempt to assess regional competitiveness, the authors started from an operational model that evaluates national competitiveness on the basis of five integrating criteria (each criterion is an aggregation of several domains): overall operational economic performance, energy use, information and communication technology, gross value added structure, participation in the international markets. The author’s central idea regarding the elaboration of a model to assess the regional competitiveness is also that of using integrating criteria (complex indicators) able to reveal clearly the final results of the efforts of the national and local governments, the business environment and the civil society aimed at increasing the regional competitiveness of the EU countries. Thus, following the performed analyses certain domain-grouped criteria were selected, regarding the overall economic performance of the regions, labor quality and skills, business environment, research-development and innovation, infrastructure and environment – analyzed through domain-specific indicators. In the authors’ opinion, the proposed model fully satisfies the requirements of an operational model to assess the regional competitiveness, because it significantly employs integrating criteria and it uses comparable data obtained by applying quasi-unitary methodologies, accessible each year for a large number of countries and regions, which will allow for multi-annual comparisons in the future.

Keywords: regional competitiveness, national competitiveness models, integrating criteria, complex indicators
JEL Classification: O18, O47, R15, O57