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In a globalising world in which the mobility of capital steadily increases, cities and regions increasingly compete over drawing multinational corporations (MNCs) to their territory.
These ‘place wars’ can take place at local, regional, national, continental, or even global spatial scales (Gordon, 1999). To boost their economies and increase their standards of living,cities and regions have to work on their ability to successfully compete with other territories (i.e., competitive advantage) over attracting foreign investments in leading sectors of the world economy (Storper, 1997; Kitson et al., 2004).
Today, local and regional governments not only use incentive-based policies (e.g., subsidies, taxes) but also capacity-building
policies such as government spending on amenities, education, physical infrastructure, and public transportation networks to foster the attractiveness of their territory (Begg, 1999).
At the same time, taking advantage of a territory’s sources of competitive advantage has moved
to the central stage in local and regional development policy: the marketing and branding of
cities and regions has become a ‘booming business’ (Paddison, 1993; Van der Berg and Braun, 1999), while budgets for place promotion are ever increasing (LeRoy, 2005; Markusen and Nesse, 2007).
The increasing interest in urban and regional competitive advantage has resulted in a substantial number of ranking lists, in which cities and regions are compared on the basis of their internal characteristics, such as their economic performance (Kresl and Singh, 1999),
global connectivity (Taylor, 2004), creativity and innovativeness (Florida, 2005), and quality … http://www.tinbergen.nl/discussionpapers/12063.pdf
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