The economy of Upper Austria in an international environment. 2nd report on international competitiveness 2017

  • Project lead:
  • Peter Mayerhofer

Our study evaluates the position of Upper Austria in the hierarchy of highly developed industrial regions in Europe and documents the changes in this position since the recession in 2008-09. To this end we compile and analyse harmonised and comparable indicators on regional competitiveness for Upper Austria and a broad set of (108) other highly developed industrial regions in Europe, which we identified as relevant competitors to Upper Austria based on empirical cluster analyses. We reveal a high competitiveness of the Upper Austrian economy in this setting when looking at (macroeconomic) performance indicators and show a further improvement of the region's position since 2008 in relative terms. However, we also identify the need for a productivity and growth-oriented economic policy as a prerequisite to safeguard the competitive advantages established. Hence, we proceed with a deeper comparative analyse of the major determinants of competitiveness in innovation, internationalisation and human resources, and reveal regional strengths and weaknesses in these fields. Based on this SWOT profile we recommend policy measures in research and innovation policy, foreign trade policy and qualification policy that bear good prospects to contribute to further growth and productivity gains in the Upper Austrian economy.