On the concept of 'competitiveness' and its usefulness for policy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the coherence and usefulness of the contentious concept of ‘national competitiveness’. We undertake an interpretative review of the various uses of the concept in international economics. It is argued (á la Erik Reinert) that the concept of competitiveness is coherent in the presence of dynamic externalities, with a ‘winner picking’ exercise, by social planners, at its core. However, its usefulness for real-world policymaking can be limited because of practical problems (political and information imperfections) of picking the ‘real winners’. These problems are nonetheless not insurmountable. There is ample evidence that competitiveness strategies can work if they are the ‘right’ kind for a given political configuration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-62
Number of pages13
JournalStructural Change and Economic Dynamics
Volume36
Early online date22 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Competitiveness
Usefulness
International economics
Exercise
National competitiveness
Dynamic externalities
Imperfections
Policy making

Bibliographical note

The full text is currently unavailable on the repository.

Keywords

  • Competitiveness
  • Comparative advantage
  • Increasing returns
  • Industrial policy

Cite this

On the concept of 'competitiveness' and its usefulness for policy. / Mulatu, Abay.

In: Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Vol. 36, 03.2016, p. 50-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{22a0d6759c674814852d4ab8df2cc68b,
title = "On the concept of 'competitiveness' and its usefulness for policy",
abstract = "This paper examines the coherence and usefulness of the contentious concept of ‘national competitiveness’. We undertake an interpretative review of the various uses of the concept in international economics. It is argued ({\'a} la Erik Reinert) that the concept of competitiveness is coherent in the presence of dynamic externalities, with a ‘winner picking’ exercise, by social planners, at its core. However, its usefulness for real-world policymaking can be limited because of practical problems (political and information imperfections) of picking the ‘real winners’. These problems are nonetheless not insurmountable. There is ample evidence that competitiveness strategies can work if they are the ‘right’ kind for a given political configuration.",
keywords = "Competitiveness, Comparative advantage, Increasing returns, Industrial policy",
author = "Abay Mulatu",
note = "The full text is currently unavailable on the repository.",
year = "2016",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1016/j.strueco.2015.11.001",
language = "English",
volume = "36",
pages = "50--62",
journal = "Structural Change and Economic Dynamics",
issn = "0954-349X",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - On the concept of 'competitiveness' and its usefulness for policy

AU - Mulatu, Abay

N1 - The full text is currently unavailable on the repository.

PY - 2016/3

Y1 - 2016/3

N2 - This paper examines the coherence and usefulness of the contentious concept of ‘national competitiveness’. We undertake an interpretative review of the various uses of the concept in international economics. It is argued (á la Erik Reinert) that the concept of competitiveness is coherent in the presence of dynamic externalities, with a ‘winner picking’ exercise, by social planners, at its core. However, its usefulness for real-world policymaking can be limited because of practical problems (political and information imperfections) of picking the ‘real winners’. These problems are nonetheless not insurmountable. There is ample evidence that competitiveness strategies can work if they are the ‘right’ kind for a given political configuration.

AB - This paper examines the coherence and usefulness of the contentious concept of ‘national competitiveness’. We undertake an interpretative review of the various uses of the concept in international economics. It is argued (á la Erik Reinert) that the concept of competitiveness is coherent in the presence of dynamic externalities, with a ‘winner picking’ exercise, by social planners, at its core. However, its usefulness for real-world policymaking can be limited because of practical problems (political and information imperfections) of picking the ‘real winners’. These problems are nonetheless not insurmountable. There is ample evidence that competitiveness strategies can work if they are the ‘right’ kind for a given political configuration.

KW - Competitiveness

KW - Comparative advantage

KW - Increasing returns

KW - Industrial policy

U2 - 10.1016/j.strueco.2015.11.001

DO - 10.1016/j.strueco.2015.11.001

M3 - Article

VL - 36

SP - 50

EP - 62

JO - Structural Change and Economic Dynamics

JF - Structural Change and Economic Dynamics

SN - 0954-349X

ER -