Evaluations of regional competitiveness making a case for case studies
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Evaluations of Regional Competitiveness: Making a Case for Case Studies. David L. Barkley Clemson University Clemson, South Carolina.

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Evaluations of regional competitiveness making a case for case studies

Evaluations of Regional Competitiveness: Making a Case for Case Studies

David L. Barkley

Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina


Evaluations of regional competitiveness making a case for case studies

“In my opinion, the law of comparative advantage does not hold in the case of confrontation among local economies and, consequently, the conclusion that each region will always be granted some specialization and role in the interregional division of labor is not valid.”

Roberto Camagni

“On the Concept of Territorial Competitiveness”

Urban Studies (2002)


Evaluations of regional competitiveness making a case for case studies

“…there is no particular reason to expect a region whose traditional industries are faring badly to attract new industries.”

“…weak and lagging territories risk exclusion and decline to a larger extent than in the past.”


Evaluations of regional competitiveness

Evaluations of Regional Competitiveness

Definitions, conceptualizations, and measures

Advantages and Disadvantages of Strategy

Estimation of Indices of Competitiveness

Benefits and Shortcomings of Indices


Regional competitiveness defined

Regional Competitiveness Defined

“…the ability of an economy to attract and maintain firms with stable or rising market shares in an activity while maintaining or increasing standards of living for those who participate in it.” (Storper, 1997)

“…ultimately competitive regions and cities are places where both companies and people want to locate and invest in.” (Kitson, Martin, and Tyler, 2004)


Evaluations of regional competitiveness making a case for case studies

Conceptualizations of Competitiveness

The Porter Diamond Framework (Porter, 1998)


Ncc competitiveness pyramid

NCC Competitiveness Pyramid

Source: National Competitiveness Council


Evaluations of regional competitiveness making a case for case studies

Firm level

Economy level

region

nation

Activity-complex economies

Localization economies

Urbanization economies

Enhanced Economic efficiency

Enhanced productivity

X-Efficiency

Source: Budd and Hirmis, 2004


Measures of competitiveness

Measures of Competitiveness

Inputs (Development Report Card for the States)

Human resources

Financial resources

Infrastructure resources

Innovation resources

Amenity resources and natural capital


Evaluations of regional competitiveness making a case for case studies

Outputs (Krugman, Porter)

  • Output per worker

  • Output per unit of capital and labor

  • in traded sectors

    Outcome (Kitson, et al. and Budd and Hirmis)

  • High rate of employment among labor force

  • High quality and high income job opportunities


Advantages of a competitiveness

Advantages of a Competitiveness

Provides appreciation of current local economic environment

Identifies weaknesses in the local economy

Encourages a longer term perspective on economic development process

May lead to new marketing and promotional programs for the region


Disadvantages of competitiveness strategies

Disadvantages of Competitiveness Strategies

May contribute to wasteful competition among regions

May result in a re-allocation of resources from low-visibility programs to high-visibility programs

May contribute to widening social inequalities

Used as justification for policy makers pet programs


Rankings grades and indices

Rankings, Grades, and Indices

Development Report Card for the States (CFED)

67 measures 15 sub-indices 3 indices

no weights

State New Economy Index (Atkinson and Correa)

27 indicators 5 indices

weights selected to reflect relative importance


Rankings 50 largest metro areas

Rankings: 50 Largest Metro Areas

aRankings for 363 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

bRankings for 200 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

cRankings for 50 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas.


Rankings 50 largest metro areas1

Rankings: 50 Largest Metro Areas

aRankings for 363 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

bRankings for 200 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

cRankings for 50 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas.


Problems with indices and rankings

Problems with Indices and Rankings

Inclusion of relevant variables, and only relevant variables

Selection of appropriate measures

for the variables

Selection of weights used to

combine the variables

Is the index a good predictor


Problems shortcomings cont

Problems/Shortcomings(cont.)

Ignore the region’s historical development process and industrial legacy

Suggestive of formulaic solutions for complex economic development problems

Provide little room for alternative visions in the policy discussion

May stigmatize lagging regions


Road trips

Road Trips

Ireland

Portland

Madison

Raleigh/Durham

Austin


Evaluations of regional competitiveness making a case for case studies

  • Regional

  • Scientists

  • Conceptualizations

  • and Models

  • Discourse on

  • Competitiveness

  • Strategies

  • Rankings and Indices

  • Discourse on Rankings

  • and Indices

  • Policy Makers

  • and

  • Economic Development Agencies

  • Road Trips

  • Best Practices


How can regional scientists help

How Can Regional Scientists Help

Develop indices and benchmarking

methodologies that more accurately reflect competitiveness

- Variables selected

- Measures/data used for variables

- Weighting of variables in indices


2 selection of target cities

2.Selection of Target Cities


3 applications of lessons learned

3. Applications of Lessons Learned

Provide interpretations of lessons learned on road trips

Help identify characteristics unique to the visited region that enhanced competitiveness

Provide insights into characteristics of “home” region that may impede or facilitate the transfer of policies

Provide detailed analysis of the economies of the visited and home regions


Case study research

Case Study Research

Definition: “an empirical inquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomena within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomena and context are not clear.” (Yin, 2003)


Case study research strategy

Case Study Research Strategy

Development of theoretical model

Research model design

Data collection and analysis


Data collection

Data Collection

Individuals associated with “case”

Review of literature (industry, government, popular press, and academic papers

Secondary data on regional economy

Multiple cases, multiple units of analysis


Why so few case studies

Why So Few Case Studies?

Case studies are expensive and time consuming

Skeptical of information collected through interviews

Not confident in use of findings by policy makers

Perceived to be more difficult to publish in journals


Benefits of case studies to us

Benefits of Case Studies to Us

Case studies can be fun

Provide new information and perspectives

Useful in developing or refining hypotheses

Useful in testing hypotheses

Policy makers love case studies


Conclusions

Conclusions

Case studies and best practices will be used in developing policy

We cannot attend every meeting of policy makers

We can improve the pool of good case studies

We can provide leadership in the design of case studies and interpretation of findings


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