Économie et Statistique n° 363-364-365 - 2003 Firms on The Global Markets Labour Market - Attractiveness - Debt - Enlargement toward East en South
The attractiveness of France: analysis, perception and measurement
A country's attractiveness is based on a very wide range of determinants: size of the markets, cost of capital and labour (within which taxation plays an important role), and presence or absence of competitive or complementary firms in the production process. From a longer-term point of view, the considerations of trade integration strategies, quality of infrastructures and institutions, education and training also come into play. Recent new geographic economy developments have enabled a more detailed analysis of the complex interaction between factor cost, market size and business location decisions. This has shown cumulative agglomeration effects, which justify a careful consideration of the static comparisons between countries, especially as regards taxation. Given these circumstances, how can attractiveness be measured? The diversity of available indicators often disorients economists and political decision-makers. In this field as in others, France produces a valuable array of data even though they should be better known and used. It is up to users first to clarify the concept they are endeavouring to understand: measurement of economic performance, observation of location decisions or, more upstream of the decision-making process, their determinants. Once these distinctions have been identified and taken into account, the variety of indicators actually proves to be an asset.