Research Summary

The Competitive Advantage of Nations and Regions

by Michael E. Porter


Michael E. Porter continues to extend his study first reported in The Competitive Advantage of Nations. Porter has published books and studies of other countries, states, and cities, including Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and India. A book on Japan (with visiting professor Hirotaka Takeuchi), tentatively titled The Two Japans, is expected to be completed in 1999.

Porter is extending his microeconomics-based theory of competitiveness in a variety of ways. He is exploring the shifting role of various microeconomic influences as a nation's economy becomes more advanced, and the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and microeconomic conditions in development.

Porter's examination of the problems of early-stage economic development includes research with Pankaj Ghemawat on India, as well as studies on Central American, South American, and Asian countries.

Porter is also conducting statistical research on the microeconomic foundations of economic development. An initial paper "The Microeconomic Foundations of Economic Development" (in The Global Competitiveness Report 1998, Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum, 1998) examines the role of microeconomic variables in explaining per capita income differences among 52 countries. A paper with Mariko Sakakibara (UCLA) examines the link between domestic rivalry and international competitive success in a sample of Japanese industries.

Porter is also conducting research into appropriate forms of economic cooperation within regions (including countries), for which a major project involving the presidents of seven Central American nations is serving as a laboratory.