Social Indicators Research

, Volume 142, Issue 1, pp 431–450 | Cite as

Similarities and Differences in Competitiveness Among European NUTS2 Regions: An Empirical Analysis Based on 2010–2013 Data

  • Massimo Aria
  • Giuseppe Lucio GaetaEmail author
  • Ugo Marani


Regional competitiveness is a concept whose definition and applicability is highly debated among scholars. Nevertheless, over recent years it has become widespread among policy makers and practitioners, especially in the European Union. In line with this diffusion a number of alternative composite indicators of regional competitiveness have been released. Instead of building a composite index, this paper carries out empirical analyses whose aim is to analyze the European NUTS2 regions’ performance for those indicators that, according to the literature, contribute to the definition of competitiveness. Results highlight the existence of a competitiveness divide between Northern European countries, which report better performances for most of the competitiveness indicators, and Southern/Eastern ones. The group of more competitive regions expands over time by including regions from Centre European countries while within peripheral regions a stable gap between regions where metropolitan areas are located and the others exists.


Regional Competitiveness Cluster analysis Structural equation modeling 

Jel codes

R11 R19 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Massimo Aria
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Lucio Gaeta
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Ugo Marani
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economics and StatisticsUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of Human and Social SciencesUniversity of Naples L’ OrientaleNaplesItaly
  3. 3.cMet05 Inter-University Centre for Applied Economic Studies on Industrial PolicyLocal Development and InternationalizationNaplesItaly

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