How nations ‘compete’: the leading thinkers

This page will contain articles looking at the work of interesting folk who have explored what ‘competitiveness’ means. This is a work in progress, which began in March 2015.


Robert Reich

Examining a 2011 article by Robert Reich, a former U.S. Labour Secretary, entitled American Competitiveness, and the President’s New Relationship with American Business.

Click here.

Paul Krugman

Jack Copley examines Paul Krugman’s seminal 1994 essay Competitiveness: a dangerous obsession. Click here.

Martin Wolf

Eric Reinert

Article under preparation. Reinert’s webpage, dissenting from the views of Krugman, Wolf and others, is here.

Mariana Mazzucato

Articles on Mariana Mazzucato here. Her website is here.

Bob Jessop

Martin Hellwig

March 2016 – Martin Hellwig: Competitiveness as Doublespeak 


David Ricardo

Stories looking at David Ricardo, here.

Paul Samuelson

Stories related to Paul Samuelson here.

Adam Smith

Articles related to Adam Smith

April 2015 – Adam Smith and the East India Company: a perspective on competitiveness Matthew Watson

April, 2015 – Slot Machine Man and the Origins of the Competitiveness Discourse – Matthew Watson

Thorstein Veblen


Davies and Vadlamannati

See a brief description of their research into ‘competitive’ reduction in labour standards here.


Charles Tiebout

See our article entitled “Competitiveness: was Charles Tiebout joking?

Tax Justice Network

Click here to see an article summarising the Tax Justice Network’s position on tax ‘competitiveness’ and tax ‘competition.’

Kevin Farnsworth


Anat Admati

June 2015 – Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig discuss financial sector “competitiveness,” in their acclaimed book The Bankers’ New Clothes. Click here.

(See also An Interview with Martin Hellwig: Competitiveness as Doublespeak, March 2016)

TJN-Finance Curse

See Why a ‘competitive’ financial sector means lower growth, our inaugural blog in the Finance Curse series.

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