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2006-02: The Concept of Competitiveness

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Author: John Hawkins

A number of concepts of ‘competitiveness’ are applied to national economies, not always clearly or helpfully. This paper suggests a possible taxonomy of these concepts, and applies them to Australian data. Australia performs well on the internal competitiveness of its markets. It also does well in measures of competitiveness based on other fundamental drivers of economic growth. Other indices of competitiveness, comparing prices and costs in Australia with those overseas, suffer from conceptual and measurement problems and are therefore of limited value.