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Project brief

Which factors determine the competitiveness of nations? To what extent does the competitiveness of emerging economies differ from advanced Western economies? Which capabilities have to be developed in the Netherlands and by Dutch firms in order to become one of the most dynamic and competitive knowledge economies in Europe? These central questions highlight the subject (i.e. competitiveness), the context (i.e. the Netherlands and Dutch firms) and the benchmark (i.e. the worldwide ranking of the Netherlands in terms of a dynamic and competitive knowledge economy).
Considering the dependence of the Netherlands on trade and knowledge flows beyond Europe (e.g. North America, Japan and China), a more globally oriented benchmark for international competitiveness is appropriate. The yearly published Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum (WEF) provides a well-known and respected methodology developed by professor Michael Porter for assessing the international ranking (i.e. ‘Global Competitiveness Index’) of more than 140 countries in terms of competitiveness and productivity growth – both directly related to innovation. We use the WEF global ranking of the Netherlands as the proper benchmark.
Amsterdam Centre for Business Innovation ( is partner institute of the WEF and responsible for data gathering on the international competitiveness of the Netherlands. In the so-called ‘Executive Opinion Survey’ (EOS) we measure the level of competitiveness on a number of basic factors (quality of institutions, level of health care, infrastructure of main ports, level of educational systems), efficiency factors (goods markets, labour and financial markets) and innovation factors (business sophistication, capacity for innovation). Students participate in the EOS and foundation of the Global Competitiveness Index 2020. The Master Thesis will provide theoretical grounding of the international competitiveness framework. The empirical part will be derived from EOS-data and the Global Competitiveness Index.


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