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Benchmarking the knowledge competitiveness of the globe's high‐performing regions: A review of the World Knowledge Competitiveness Index

Robert Huggins (The Management School, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Hiro Izushi (Economics and Strategy Group, Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK)

Competitiveness Review

ISSN: 1059-5422

Article publication date: 23 May 2008




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the way in which the knowledge competitiveness of regions is measured and further introduces the World Knowledge Competitiveness Index (WKCI) benchmarking tool.


The methodology consists of an econometric analysis of key indicators relating to the concept of knowledge competitiveness for 125 regions from across the globe consisting of 55 representatives from North America, 45 from Europe and 25 from Asia and Oceania.


The key to winning the super competitive race in the knowledge‐based economy is investment in the future: research and development, and education and training. It is found that the majority of the high‐performing regional economies in the USA have a knowledge competitive edge over their counterparts in Europe and Asia.

Research limitations/implications

To an extent, the research is limited by the availability of comparable indicators and metrics at the regional level that extend across the globe. Whilst comparative data are often accessible at the national level, regional data sources remain underdeveloped.

Practical implications

The WKCI has become internationally recognized as an important instrument for economic development policymakers and regional investment promotion agents as they create and refine their strategies and targets. In particular, it has provided a benchmark that allows regions to compare their knowledge competitiveness with other regions for around the world and not only their own nation or continent.


The WKCI is the first composite and relative measure of the knowledge competitiveness of the globe's best performing regions.



Huggins, R. and Izushi, H. (2008), "Benchmarking the knowledge competitiveness of the globe's high‐performing regions: A review of the World Knowledge Competitiveness Index", Competitiveness Review, Vol. 18 No. 1/2, pp. 70-86.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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