Austria’s Economic Competitiveness in a Neighbourhood Context

Client/Funding Institution

Anniversary Fund of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank


Since the Eastern enlargement of the EU in 2004, Austria has lost global export market shares. At the same time exports to Central, East and Southeast Europe have gained a significant portion of Austria’s total exports. Moreover, in recent years Austrian GDP growth has slowed down and unemployment increased. In this context our main research question is whether the opening to the East had a structural lock-in effect for Austria’s economy. In a novel approach on the territorial lock-in effect we will apply a multi-perspective view from a microeconomic (firm-level), mesoeconomic (industry-level) and macroeconomic (country-level) perspective. As regards data, we will have exclusive access to an update of the world input-output database including data for the Western Balkans. The new data will add substantially to the project, the current discussion on Austria’s competitiveness and the development of policy recommendations.


August 2016 - July 2018

wiiw team Leader

Mario Holzner

wiiw Staff

Alexandra Bykova, Mahdi Ghodsi, Doris Hanzl-Weiss, Olga Pindyuk, Roman Stöllinger


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Keywords: competitiveness, lock-in effect, total factor productivity, value added trade, real exchange rate, Eastern Europe, Austria

Countries covered: Austria, Central and East Europe

Research Areas: Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy, International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI