Regional benchmarking in a global context: knowledge, competitiveness, and economic development

Robert Huggins, Hiro Izushi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Benchmarking exercises have become increasingly popular within the sphere of regional policy making. However, most exercises are restricted to comparing regions within a particular continental bloc or nation.This article introduces the World Knowledge Competitiveness Index (WKCI), which is one of the very few benchmarking exercises established to compare regions across continents.The article discusses the formulation of the WKCI and analyzes the results of the most recent editions.The results suggest that there are significant variations in the knowledge-based regional economic development models at work across the globe. Further analysis also indicates that Silicon Valley, as the highest ranked WKCI region, holds a unique economic position among the globe’s leading regions. However, significant changes in the sources of regional competitiveness are evolving as a result of the emergence of new regional hot spots in Asia. It is concluded that benchmarking is imperative to the learning process of regional policy making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-293
Number of pages19
JournalEconomic Development Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • benchmarking
  • regions
  • knowledge
  • competitiveness
  • economic development
  • global economy


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