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Kilkon Ko and Sena Park. (2012) A Critical Review of Global Competitiveness Indices: Around the Global Competitiveness IMD and WEF Indices. Korea Journal of Public Administration. 35-66
Global competitiveness indices are widely employed among researchers for they are interested in comparing the status, causes, and effect of national competitiveness. In some countries, including Korea, policy makers are also keen to their ranking on the global competitiveness indices and use them for policy-making. Despite the increased application of global competitiveness indices, however, their validity and correct utilization are still questionable. This study examines the global competitiveness indices of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), focusing on their validity and utilization. The analysis suggests that subordinate indicators and evaluation items have changed over the years. The change, however, has not resulted in an improvement of the validity of the global competitiveness indices. Instead, their predictive validity and construct validity remain persistently low. Therefore, rather than using global competitive indices as an authoritative measure, special attention should be given them due to their inconsistent operationalization and questionable validity. Moreover, policy makers should be aware of the limitations of global competitiveness indices as they are merely a composite index produced by soft as well as hard data.
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