Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2013 (Revised June 2016)

The Basque Country: Strategy for Economic Development

by Michael E. Porter, Christian H.M. Ketels and Jesus M. Valdaliso


The Basque country, with a population of 2.1 million and covering 7,233 square kilometers, is an autonomous region located in the north of Spain, physically separated from it by the Pyrenees Mountains. Presents the history of the region—highly prosperous at the turn of the 20th century, but nearing bankruptcy by the 1950s. By 2001, the Basque GDP per capita had risen to a level well ahead of Spain and most European countries. At the same time that the region was enjoying the spoils of admirably executed cluster initiatives, it was being threatened by the destabilizing violence of the Basque separatist extreme, a slowing global economy, and an always precarious balance of power between the Basque's own government and the government of Spain.

Keywords: History; Crime and Corruption; Industry Clusters; Competitive Strategy; Microeconomics; Developing Countries and Economies; Government and Politics; Basque Provinces; Spain;


Porter, Michael E., Christian H.M. Ketels, and Jesus M. Valdaliso. "The Basque Country: Strategy for Economic Development." Harvard Business School Case 713-474, January 2013. (Revised June 2016.)