AskDefine | Define competitive

Dictionary Definition

competitive adj
1 involving competition or competitiveness; "competitive games"; "to improve one's competitive position" [syn: competitory] [ant: noncompetitive]
2 subscribing to capitalistic competition [syn: free-enterprise(a), private-enterprise(a)]
3 showing a fighting disposition without self-seeking; "highly competitive sales representative"; "militant in fighting for better wages for workers"; "his self-assertive and ubiquitous energy" [syn: militant]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. of or pertaining to competition.
  2. being inclined to compete.
  3. that inhibits the action of an enzyme by binding with it.


of or pertaining to competition
being inclined to compete



  1. Feminine plural form of competitivo

Extensive Definition

Competitiveness is a comparative concept of the ability and performance of a firm, sub-sector or country to sell and supply goods and/or services in a given market. Although widely used in economics and business management, the usefulness of the concept, particularly in the context of national competitiveness, is vigorously disputed by economists, such as Paul Krugman
The term may also be applied to markets, where it is used to refer to the extent to which the market structure may be regarded as perfectly competitive. This usage has nothing to do with the extent to which individual firms are "competitive'.

Firm competitiveness

Empirical observation confirms that resources (capital, labor, technology) and talent tend to concentrate geographically (Easterly and Levine 2002). This result reflects the fact that firms are embedded in inter-firm relationships with networks of suppliers, buyers and even competitors that help them to gain competitive advantages in the sale of its products and services. While arms-length market relationships do provide these benefits, at times there are externalities that arise from linkages among firms in a geographic area or in a specific industry (textiles, leather goods, silicon chips) that cannot be captured or fostered by markets alone. The process of “clusterization,” the creation of “value chains,” or “industrial districts” are models that highlight the advantages of networks.
Within capitalist economic systems, the drive of enterprises is to maintain and improve their own competitiveness.this practically pertains to business sectors.

National Competitiveness

In recent years, the concept of competitiveness has emerged as a new paradigm in economic development. Competitiveness captures the awareness of both the limitations and challenges posed by global competition, at a time when effective government action is constrained by budgetary constraints and the private sector faces significant barriers to competing in domestic and international markets.
The term is also used to refer in a broader sense to the economic competitiveness of countries, regions or cities. Recently, countries are increasing looking at their competitiveness on global markets. Ireland (1997), Greece (2003), Croatia (2004), Bahrain (2005), the Philippines (2006), Guyana and the Dominican Republic are just some examples of countries that have advisory bodies or special government agencies that tackle competitiveness issues. Even regions or cities, such as Dubai or the Basque Country, are considering the establishment of such a body.
The institutional model applied in the case of National Competitiveness Programs (NCP) varies from country to country, however, there are some common features. The leadership structure of NCPs relies on strong support from the highest level of political authority. High-level support provides credibility with the appropriate actors in the private sector. Usually, the council or governing body will have a designated public sector leader (president, vice-president or minister) and a co-president drawn from the private sector. Notwithstanding the public sector’s role in strategy formulation, oversight, and implementation, national competitiveness programs should have strong, dynamic leadership from the private sector at all levels – national, local and firm. From the outset, the program must provide a clear diagnostic of the problems facing the economy and a compelling vision that appeals to a broad set of actors who are willing to seek change and implement an outward-oriented growth strategy. Finally, most programs share a common view on the importance of networks of firms or “clusters” as an organizing principal for collective action. Based on a bottom-up approach, programs that support the association among private business leadership, civil society organizations, public institutions and political leadership can better identify barriers to competitiveness; develop joint-decisions on strategic policies and investments; and yield better results in implementation.
National competitiveness is said to be particularly important for small open economies, which rely on trade, and typically foreign direct investment, to provide the scale necessary for productivity increases to drive increases in living standards. The Irish National Competitiveness Council uses a Competitiveness Pyramid structure to simplify the factors the affect national competitiveness. It distinguishes in particular between policy inputs in relation to the business environment, the physical infrastructure and the knowledge infrastructure and the essential conditions of competitiveness that good policy inputs create, including business performance metrics, productivity, labour supply and prices/costs for business.
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in Washington, D.C. published the "Innovation Agenda: A Policy Statement on American Competitiveness". This paper summarizes the ideas expressed at the 2007 IEDC Federal Forum and provides policy recommendations for both economic developers and federal policy makers that aim to ensure America remains globally competitive in light of current domestic and international challenges.[http://www.]
International comparisons of national competitiveness are conducted by the World Economic Forum, in its Global Competitiveness Report, and the Institute for Management Development, in its World Competitiveness Yearbook.


Krugman argues that "As a practical matter, however, the doctrine of 'competitiveness' is flatly wrong. The world's leading nations are not, to any important degree, in economic competition with each other." As Krugman notes, national economic welfare is determined primarily by productivity in both traded and non-traded sectors of the economy.
competitive in Danish: Konkurrenceevne
competitive in German: Wettbewerbsfähigkeit
competitive in Spanish: Competitividad
competitive in French: Compétitivité économique
competitive in Latvian: Konkurētspēja
competitive in Hungarian: Versenyképesség
competitive in Portuguese: Competitividade
competitive in Russian: Национальная конкурентоспособность
competitive in Chinese: 竞争力

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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