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The World Knowledge Competitiveness Index

The World Knowledge Competitiveness Index was first introduced in 2002, and is now published biennially, with the 2008 edition now available for Download.

The World Knowledge Competitiveness Index Series can be downloaded for Free.

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World Knowledge Competitiveness Index 2008

The 2008 edition of the WKCI compares 145 regions across 19 knowledge economy benchmarks (full data for all indicators across each of the 19 benchmarks is contained in the accompanying Excel spreadsheets). This represents an increase of twenty regions compared to the last edition in 2005: nine from Europe, eight from North America, and three from Asia Pacific. These new regions were selected on the basis of a survey of a wide range of regions appearing to be become more internationally competitive. This year’s report also contains a special chapter on economic development in the three leading Chinese regions.

World Knowledge Competitiveness Index 2008 (Top Ten Regions)

Rank Region 2008 Index Score 2005 Rank Change in Rank
1 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, US 248.3 1 0
2 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, US 175.3 2 0
3 Hartford, US 175.1 4 1
4 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, US 174.7 - -
5 San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, US 160.8 3 -2
6 Stockholm, Sweden 151.8 8 2
7 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, US 151.3 5 -2
8 Providence-Fall River-Warwick, US 147.1 - -
9 Tokyo, Japan 147.0 22 13
10 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, US 146.1 7 -3

Selecting the Indicators

In deciding which indicators to use in our analysis, the key concern was to develop an analysis which incorporated data available and comparable at the local, regional and national levels, thereby providing visible yardsticks of economic strength and weaknesses that go beyond the usually narrow focus on macroeconomic performance. To create a single composite measure of regional competitiveness, a number of different modes of creating the index, and the variables to be included, were considered. In addition, the analysis that follows in later chapters also examines the association between different variables, and links these variables through a chain of inputs, outputs and outcomes, thereby attempting to reflect the link between macroeconomic performance and the underlying sources of competitiveness, be it stocks or investments in knowledge, innovative capacity, ICT infrastructure, financial capital, and so on. In selecting the appropriate variables, consideration also had to be given towards the overall ‘value’of the indicators, and their relative effectiveness as a performance measure. The selected variables analysed can be usefully divided into five components: human capital, financial capital, knowledge capital, regional economy outputs and knowledge sustainability. The variables selected for the analysis are as follows:

Human Capital Components

  • Employment in IT and Computer Manufacturing per 1,000 employees
  • Employment in Biotechnology and Chemicals per 1,000 employees
  • Employment in Automotive and Mechanical Engineering per 1,000 employees
  • Employment in Instrumentation and Electrical Machinery per 1,000 employees
  • Employment in High-Tech Services per 1,000 employees
  • Economic Activity Rate
  • Number of Managers per 1,000 employees

Knowledge Capital Components

  • Per Capita Expenditures on R&D performed by Government
  • Per Capita Expenditures on R&D performed by Business
  • Number of Patents Registered per one million inhabitants

Regional Economy Outputs

  • Labour Productivity
  • Mean Gross Monthly Earnings
  • Unemployment Rates

Financial Capital Components

  • Per Capita Private Equity Investment

Knowledge Sustainability

  • Per Capita Public Expenditures on Primary andSecondary Education
  • Per Capita Public Expenditures on Higher Education
  • Secure Servers per one million inhabitants
  • Internet Hosts per 1,000 inhabitants
  • Broadband Access per 1,000 inhabitants

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