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Innovation, Global Change and Territorial Resilience

Innovation, Global Change and Territorial Resilience

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Philip Cooke, Mario Davide Parrilli and José Luis Curbelo

Localized creativity, small high-tech entrepreneurship, related innovation platforms, social capital embedded in dynamically open territorial communities and context-specific though continuously upgrading policy platforms are all means to face new challenges and to promote increased absorptive capacity within local and national territories. The contributors illustrate that these capabilities are much needed in the current globalized economy as a path towards sustainability and for creating new opportunities for their inhabitants. They analyse the challenges and development prospects of local/regional production systems internally, across territories, and in terms of their potential and territorial connectivity which can help exploit opportunities for proactive policy actions. This is increasingly relevant in the current climate, in which the balanced allocation of resources and opportunities, particularly for SMEs, cannot be expected to be the automatic result of the working of the market.

Chapter 8: Assessing Country Competitiveness: The Case of Spain

Mercedes Delgado and Christian Ketels

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, industrial economics, regional economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


* Mercedes Delgado and Christian Ketels INTRODUCTION 1. There is increasing consensus about the need for context-specific policy advice to improve country prosperity (see, for example, Rodrik, 2007). In recent work we have developed a robust and novel diagnostic tool to assess country competitiveness, grounded in the latest academic research and designed to provide practical insights to policy-makers (see Porter et al., 2008; Delgado et al., 2010a). In this chapter we document the main features of the diagnostic tool and use it to assess Spain’s competitiveness and develop policy recommendations. There are many things that matter for country prosperity. Our framework incorporates a wide range of these factors into an integrated structure with three main areas: endowments, macroeconomic competitiveness and microeconomic competitiveness (see Figure 8.1). Macroeconomic competitiveness has two related areas: social infrastructure and political institutions (SIPI) and macroeconomic policy (MP). Policies in both of these areas are controlled mainly by central governments. Microeconomic competitiveness (Porter, 1990; 2003a; Porter et al., 2007) includes the sophistication of company operations and strategies (COS) and the quality of the national business environment (NBE). These factors are influenced by multiple stakeholders, including different government agencies, companies, and institutions for collaboration. While macroeconomic competitiveness sets general conditions that create opportunities for higher productivity, microeconomic competitiveness has a direct impact on the way these opportunities are actually translated into better performance. Building on the Business Competitiveness Index (for example, see Porter, 2003a; Porter et al., 2007) and on the recent literature on composite indices (see, for example,...

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