In This Review

The Global Competitiveness Report 2001-2002
The Global Competitiveness Report 2001-2002
By Michael E. Porter et al.
Oxford University Press, 2002, 446 pp

Many people like scorecards and league standings. This volume caters to the desire to know the relative position of countries in a world league. For the past four years, the World Economic Forum and Harvard's Center for International Development have produced a global competitiveness index that really comprises two indices -- one for growth and the other for productivity. In the latest version, Finland tops both lists of the 75 countries examined, followed by the United States; Bolivia and Zimbabwe share the bottom positions. Discussion of the indices' components and their implications is far more interesting than the indices themselves, which are by necessity composites. The main contribution is an exhaustive survey of senior business executives in all 75 countries that touches inter alia on business conditions, infrastructure, the character of the regulatory regime, the quality of government, organized labor, corruption, and tax evasion. A useful compendium of information placing countries in comparative perspective.