Book

The triggers of competitiveness: The EFIGE cross-country report

What are the factors that will trigger the competitiveness of European firms? The authors of this study have worked intensively for three years on the

Publishing date
17 July 2012

Competitiveness is one of the most debated issues in policy circles. But, what triggers it? Capitalising on the first existing harmonised cross-country dataset measuring the entire range of international activities of firms in seven European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom), we first confirm a number well-established results of the firm heterogeneity literature. Secondly, and more importantly, we identify several innovational, financial, organizational and managerial triggers of competitiveness at firm level. Finally, we argue that enhancing-competitiveness policymaking could be improved by firm-level evidence if there were less reluctance to the use of micro-founded indicators to inform policy decisions.

About the authors

  • Gianmarco Ottaviano

    Gianmarco Ottaviano, Professor of International Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, joined Bruegel as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in September 2006. His research is mainly focused on spatial economics, international trade, development and growth, capital movements and multinationals. At Bruegel he coordinates the project European Firms in a Global Economy (EFIGE).
    After obtaining a Ph.D. in Economics from the Université Catholique de Louvain, he held teaching positions in Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland. He is affiliated with the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Economic Geography.

  • Carlo Altomonte

    Carlo Altomonte is Professor of Economics of European Integration at the Social and Political Sciences Department of Bocconi University, and a core faculty member of SDA Bocconi School of Management, where he teaches International Business Environment. He has received the SDA Bocconi Teaching Excellence Award in 2007 and the Bocconi Teaching Innovation Award in 2016. He has been a founder, and the first Director, of the World Bachelor in Business, a unique undergraduate triple degree in Business jointly developed by Bocconi University, the University of Southern California and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

    He is currently the Director of the Globalization and Industry Dynamics unit at the Baffi-Carefin centre of research of Bocconi University, a Non Resident Fellow at Bruegel, a EU think tank, and a Senior Researcher at ISPI, the Italian centre of Studies on International Politics. He has been visiting scholar at the Centre of Economic Performance of the London School of Economics and at the Research Department of the European Central Bank. He has been a visiting professor at the Paris School of Economics (Panthèon-Sorbonne, Paris, France) and KU Leuven (Belgium), and has held short teaching courses at the Wagner School of Government (NYU, New York), Keio University (Tokyo), Fudan University and CEIBS (Shanghai) among others.

    He has been regularly acting as consultant for a number of national and international institutions, including the Italian Government, the United Nations (UNCTAD), the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, analysing the role of international trade and investment and their implication for competitiveness.

    His main areas of research and publication are international trade and investment, the political economy of globalization and its implication on competitiveness. He has published in several leading academic journals, among which Journal of Industrial Economics, European Economic Review, Economic Policy, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Journal of Economic Geography, Journal of International Business Studies, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.

  • Tommaso Aquilante

    Tommaso Aquilante is an Assistant Professor of Managerial Economics at the Birmingham Business School. He was awarded his BA and MSc in Economics from Bocconi University in Milan and his PhD in Economics from ECARES, at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, in Brussels.

    Tommaso worked as Affiliate Fellow and Research Assistant at Bruegel. Prior to that, he worked as a research assistant in the Econometric Modelling Division at the Directorate General Research of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. He also worked at FEEM (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei) and at Bocconi University."

    Tommaso‘s main research interests are international trade, political economy and competitiveness

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