The relationship between economic growth and competitiveness: a study of the prediction capacity of the Global Competitiveness Report


  • Carlos Alberto Arruda
  • Marina S.B. Araújo
  • Juan Fernando Rios
  • Flávio P. Silveira


With studies that come from the middle 80’s, the World Economic Forum (WEF) publishes annually his Global Competitiveness Índex (GCI), an indicator of national competitiveness that considers both, macro and micro economic factors. The basic purpose of this paper is to test statistically the capacity of foresight and explanation of the indicators of competitiveness of the WEF, regarding the Gross National Product (GNP) and its capacity to influence the variations of the national product of each nation in the future, weighted by their stage of development. Considering the existence, according to the definition of the WEF (2007), a straight relation between competitiveness and economic prosperity (generated proxy of GNP), we looked to understand if the global indicator of competitiveness is statistically connected with the generation of product. To test this hypothesis, it used the modeling of the ordinary least squares (MQO). In general, indicators of competitiveness still have a low capacity to explain the variations and the behavior of GDP. In addition, for the GCI, we tested the ability of the basic, efficiency and innovation indexes to determine the GDP. Corroborating the various theoretical backgrounds that argue that innovation is the primary way for a nation to earn economic growth and development, the sub-indicators of innovation (innovation index) were those with the largest capacity of determination on the GDP in all groups. Despite the various problems found, these indicators are still a good “thermometer” of the changes in a country and in its competitive environment.

Key words: economic development, growth, competitiveness, degree of adjustment.