Systemic Competitiveness

An analytical concept formulated by a group of researchers (Klaus Esser, Wolfgang Hillebrand, Dirk Messner, Jörg Meyer-Stamer) at German Development Institute since the early 1990s. The main messages:

  • Dynamic economic development is not only based on functioning markets and individual entrepreneurship but also on collective efforts to shape a supportive environment for business development.
  • To understand the dynamics of industrial development it is crucial to analyze not only the micro- and the macro-level, i.e. markets and macro-economic framework conditions.
  • We introduce two further analytical levels: The meso- and the meta-level.

  • At the meso-level we address specific policies (such as technology policy, industrial policy, regional policy, etc.) and the institutional and organizational environment which supports firms.
  • At the meta-level we address the capability of actors at the local, regional, national or even supra-national level to create favorable conditions for industrial dynamism.
  • The economic performance of a local, regional or national economy reflects the interaction between factors at all four levels, which can create predominantly virtuous circles or vicious circles.


Systemic Competitiveness Benchmarking Table (PDF, 70 kB)

Systemic Competitiveness and Local Economic Development, Book contribution, 2008 (PDF, 250 kB)

Making market systems work? For the poor? In: Small Enterprise Development, Vol.17, 2006, No. 4 (PDF, 387 KB)

(with Frank Wältring:) Value Chain Analysis and "making markets work for the poor" (M4P)-- Poverty reduction through value chain promotion. GTZ 2006 (PDF, 4.5 MB!)

Systemic Competitiveness Revisited. Conclusions for Technical Assistance in Private Sector Development. Mimeo, 2005 (PDF)

Jörg Meyer-Stamer, Was ist Meso? Systemische Wettbewerbsfähigkeit: Analyseraster, Benchmarking-Tool und Handlungsrahmen. Duisburg, INEF-Report 55 / 2001 (PDF, 301 KB)

Jörg Meyer-Stamer, Strategien lokaler/regionaler Entwicklung: Cluster, Standortpolitik und systemische Wettbewerbsfähigkeit, in: Nord-Süd aktuell, 3/1999 (PDF-file, 120 kb)

Tilman Altenburg, Wolfgang Hillebrand and Jörg Meyer-Stamer, Building Systemic Competitiveness. Concept and Case Studies from Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Korea and Thailand. Berlin: German Development Institute (PDF-File, 872 kB)

Jörg Meyer-Stamer, Systemische Wettbewerbsfähigkeit und Standort- und Industriepolitik: Ansatzpunkte für die Technische Zusammenarbeit mit Brasilien. Berlin: Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (Berichte und Gutachten 3/1997) (PDF-File (446 Kb))

Klaus Esser, Wolfgang Hillebrand, Dirk Messner and Jörg Meyer-Stamer, Systemic Competitiveness. New Governance Patterns for Industrial Development. London: Frank Cass (PDF-File)

Klaus Esser, Wolfgang Hillebrand, Dirk Messner and Jörg Meyer-Stamer, Systemische Wettbewerbsfähigkeit: Neue Anforderungen an Unternehmen und Politik, in: DIW Vierteljahreshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, Jg. 64, 1995, Nr. 2, S.186-99

Competitividad sistémica: Nuevo desafío a las empresas y a la política (Klaus Esser / Wolfgang Hillebrand / Dirk Messner / Jörg Meyer-Stamer)
Revista de la CEPAL, Santiago 1996, No. 59, pág. 39 - 52

Competitividad sistémica. Competitividad internacional de las empresas y políticas requeridas (Klaus Esser / Wolfgang Hillebrand / Dirk Messner / Jörg Meyer-Stamer)
Instituto Alemán de Desarrollo, Berlin 1994