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Regional Competitiveness and Smart Specialization in Europe

Place-based Development in International Economic Networks

  • New Horizons in Regional Science series

Mark Thissen, Frank van Oort, Dario Diodato and Arjan Ruijs

Regions economically differ from each other – they compete in different products and geographical spaces, exhibit different strengths and weaknesses, and provide different possibilities for growth and development. What fosters growth in one region may hamper it in another. This highly original book presents an accessible methodology for identifying competitors and their particular circumstances in Europe, discusses regional competitiveness from a conceptual perspective and explores both past and future regional development policies in Europe.
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Appendix: European regional trade flows

Mark Thissen, Frank van Oort, Dario Diodato and Arjan Ruijs


In this Appendix we introduce a unique dataset on bilateral trade between 256 European NUTS-2 regions for the year 2000 and an update of this dataset for the period 2000–10. Trade is divided into 59 product categories which cover both goods and services following the European Classification of Products by Activity (NACE 1.1 – CPA 2002). Regional import and export flows are constructed by bringing several sources together since there are no complete trade surveys at this detailed geographical level. The main sources used are: (1) the national accounts of the 25 selected countries in a supply and use format; (2) international trade data on goods from Feenstra et al. (2005) and on services from Eurostat (2009a); (3) regional information on production, investment and consumption made available in Cambridge Econometrics (2008); (4) information on freight transport among European regions from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (2007); and (5) first and business class airline ticket information from MIDT (2010). The 2000 trade matrix describes the most likely trade flows between European regions given all available information, and is consistent with the national accounts.

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