Why are some nations or regions more prosperous than others? What conditions enable global corporations or local businesses to innovate and grow? Traditional economic theories fail to capture many of the underlying forces at work in today’s global economy. Competitiveness is the only way to achieve sustainable job growth, improve wages, and raise the standard of living—yet the real meaning of competitive advantage is poorly understood.
Michael Porter defines competitiveness based on productivity and focuses on the microeconomic foundations of competitive advantage that underpin productivity in nations, regions and clusters. This website introduces the frameworks and key concepts that are a foundation for understanding competitiveness.
Michael Porter’s research and frameworks on competitiveness and
economic development grew out of his seminal work in corporate
strategy. Strategy is also an essential tool for leaders of cities, states, regions
and nations. Clear economic strategies that
engage all stakeholders, boost innovation
and ultimately improve productivity are
especially critical in times of austerity or
Explore this content in two tracks: Frameworks & Key Concepts or Research & Applications. Also, learn more about the "Microeconomics of Competitiveness" (MOC) course led by Michael Porter and offered at Harvard and 100+ affiliated universities around the world.
Understand the key concepts of national competitiveness, business environment quality, clusters, stages of development, roles of government, and economic strategy.
Explore research and real-world applications for specific cases: nations, cross-national regions, states & regions, inner cities, rural areas, and clusters.
Offered at Harvard and 100+ affiliated universities around the world, MOC explores the determinants of competitiveness and successful economic development.
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See Competitiveness Profiles for Each U.S. State