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A New Regional Competitiveness Index: Theory, Methods and Findings

  • Year: 2011
  • Author: Lewis Dijkstra, Paola Annoni, Kornelia Kozovska
  • Journal Name: Working Papers
  • Journal Number: No.2/2011
  • Publisher: European Union Regional Policy
  • Country: Europe

The EU Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI) is the first composite indicator which provides a synthetic picture of territorial competitiveness for each of the NUTS 2 regions of the 27 EU Member States. It builds on and modifies the approach of the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum (WEF). It consists of eleven pillars grouped in three groups: Basic, Efficiency and Innovation. It takes into account the level of development of the region by emphasising basic issues in less developed regions, and innovative capacity in more developed regions. The pillars measure not only issues relevant to firms but also those relevant to residents of the regions in question and their quality of life.

The traditional images of Europe with a 'blue banana' or a core periphery pattern are not confirmed by this analysis. The RCI reveals a more polycentric pattern with high scores in many capital regions and other regions with large cities. More generally, though, eastern and southern European regions tend to score lower than regions in northwest Europe. The gap between the competiveness of the capital region and the surrounding regions is very high in Central and Eastern Europe, which suggests that regional spillovers are not (yet) as effective in these countries. The substantial disparities within several countries also highlight the need for regional analysis and the limits of a purely national approach.

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