Competitiveness of high-tech sectors in the European Union: A comparative study

Abstract

. In the 20th century the idea of competitiveness flourished and became one of the most popular buzzwords in economic debate, both among researchers and economic practitioners. Cutting-edge technologies and various innovations of today are perceived as the major factors of economic success, either on macro or microlevel. This paper aims at examining the relationship between R&D expenditures and export performance in high-tech sectors and the competitive advantages in these sectors in 16 European Union countries. In most of the analysed countries, the research found a dependence between the scale of R&D expenditures and the countries’ export performance in the high-technology sectors. To achieve the predefined research objective, the authors used the correlation coefficients. The results of the study proved that R&D expenditures are strictly correlated with export performance of the examined countries. Moreover, the correlation between R&D expenditures and the Balassa RCA index confirms that the R&D expenditures in the high-tech are correlated with the competitive advantages in the Balassa meaning. The results of the performed analysis are largely consistent with theoretical and empirical literature economies’ competitiveness and the impact of R&D expenditures and innovations.

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