Knowledge Economy And Competitiveness Of Western Balkan Countries In The Global Economic Crisis Cover Image

Економија знања и конкурентност земаља Западног Балкана у условима светске економске кризе
Knowledge Economy And Competitiveness Of Western Balkan Countries In The Global Economic Crisis

Author(s): Marija Džunić, Bojan Krstić
Subject(s): Economy
Published by: Универзитет у Нишу
Keywords: Knowledge Economy; Competitiveness; Western Balkans; Global Economic Crisis

Summary/Abstract: In times of the global economic crisis, the struggle to enhance competitiveness becomes much more difficult, due to lack of funds for financing the development of the key resource and key factor of competitiveness of modern economies - knowledge. Continuous improvement of knowledge creation activities and its application in various fields requires constant investment in innovation, research and development, and education and training of the workforce. In that sense, measuring the development of knowledge economy and its impact on the competitiveness of modern economies is rising in importance. This paper focuses on studying the dynamics of knowledge economy development of the Western Balkan countries in the global economic crisis. The aim of the research is to identify whether the global economic crisis has had significant effects on the knowledge economy index and the global competitiveness index of the analyzed countries. The paper consists of two parts. The first part begins with the contextual framework of the research, where knowledge is regarded as a determinant of competitiveness of companies and national economies in the new era of global economic development. After that, the paper considers the basic elements of measuring and monitoring the development of knowledge economy and competitiveness of individual countries. The data used in this paper are the official World Bank data on the values of the "Knowledge Economy Index" (KEI) and the "Global Competitiveness Index" (GCI) provided by the World Economic Forum. The second part of the paper presents data on: a) relative positions of the Western Balkan countries to the countries of the world, along with a review of the current state of development of knowledge economy in the world; b) knowledge economy development in analyzed countries by individual pillars of the knowledge economy index; and c) the relationship between the development of knowledge economy and national competitiveness. Knowledge economy and competitiveness indices of analyzed countries reveal that the Western Balkan countries significantly lag behind developed world economies, especially behind the European Union members. Although empirical evidence suggests that the economic crisis is not the immediate cause of such adverse conditions (measurements in the last couple of decades have consistently indicated a low level of development of all the pillars of knowledge economy), it is undeniable that the current negative economic trends present in global economy are limiting the opportunities of the analyzed economies to improve their performance in education, innovation, and information technology development. The conclusion of the paper highlights the implications and recommendations for operating economic policies according to each knowledge economy pillar in the analyzed countries, with the purpose of encouraging knowledge economy development and improving competitiveness.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 141-162
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Serbian