Regions differ from each other, economically – they compete over different products and geographical areas, exhibit different strengths and weaknesses, and provide different possibilities for growth and development. That which fosters growth in one region may hamper it in another. This 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.
The authors illustrate that for a true valuation of regional competition it should not solely be identified according to the structural asset characteristics of cities and regions. This publication, therefore, presents a unique applied analytical framework that takes into account economically valued network relationships between places of (mobile) production factors and traded goods. Underpinned by in-depth analysis and theory, the framework uses actual networks of competing and economically valued relationships between regions to help develop smart specialisation strategies that would take on a central position in the place-based policy initiatives of the new European cohesion policy.
This study represents a crucial contribution to the current academic discussion on regional competitiveness and the policy debate on smart specialisation, place-based development and cohesion policy in the European Union. As such, it will prove an invaluable read for academics, researchers, students and policymakers with an interest in economics – particularly applied regional economics, European studies and regional studies.