Do Economic Regions Have Core Competences? Public-Private Collaborations and Regional Competitive Advantage
Posted: 26 Feb 2013
Date Written: February 25, 2013
The debate over the nature and dynamics of national economic competitiveness has devolved somewhat into a discussion about regional economic competitiveness. Is ‘regional competitive advantage’ a useful concept in studying growth and prosperity? Are regional institutions capable of building unique competitive advantages in their constituent communities? Do regions have the ability to compete in the global marketplace in a manner different from nations? If we answer these questions in the affirmative, what is the nature of regional competitive advantage? Past studies of regional industry clusters focused on the purely empirical problem of identifying, characterizing and measuring these clusters. Only recently have studies investigated the underpinnings of these clusters in a theory-driven manner. This paper presents an argument that an economic region can have differentiated competences, rooted in the particular human and intellectual capital assets located there. Creating and executing a regional strategy which leverages those competences requires a particular form of public-private collaboration. Exploratory case studies of such regional institutions provide early evidence of how these collaborations support regional competitive advantage.
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