Study of regional inequalities: case of Bulgaria

    Ivaylo Ivanov Affiliation


The sustainable development of a country depends on many factors. One of them is the balanced development of regions. The aim of this research is to study the inequalities between regions (NUTS 3 level) in Bulgaria by application of the Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI), a tool, which is based on 10 important for regional development indicators. The paper presents the last RCI ranking list (for the 2016 year) and analyses and compares it with the ranking lists for previous years. The results show significant inequalities between the capital region and other regions for the whole period and relative small imbalances between other regions. The RCI ascertained relatively stable groups of most competitive and most non-competitive regions.

Keyword : regional competitiveness index (RCI), regional development, regional analysis, regional compares, regional inequality, regional imbalances

How to Cite
Ivanov, I. (2018). Study of regional inequalities: case of Bulgaria. Business, Management and Economics Engineering, 16, 27-39.
Published in Issue
Jul 13, 2018
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Annoni, P., & Kozovska, K. (2013). EU regional competitiveness index. RCI 2013. European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Luxemburg.

Benzaquen, J., Carpio, L., Zegarra, L., & Valdivia, C. (2010). A competitiveness index for the regions of a country. Cepal Review, 102, 67-84.

Bojkov, A., Ivanovski D., & Damyanova, A. (2002). Competitiveness of Bulgarian economy: Annual Report 2001. Center for Economic Development, Sofia.

Bronisz, U., Heijman, W., & Miszczuk, A. (2008). Regional competitiveness in Poland: creating an index. Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, 28(2), 133-143.

Caruso, D., & Miro, A. (2016, May). Rural tourism and sustainable rural development opportunities in Apula region (Sothern Italy). 9th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management 2016” (pp. 1-9). Vilnius.

Christopherson, S., Michie, J., & Tyler, P. (2010). Regional resilience: theoretical and empirical perspectives. Cambridge Journal of regions, economy and society, 3(1), 3-10.

Dijkstra, L., Annoni, P., & Kozovska, K. (2011). A new regional competitiveness index: theory, methods and findings. European Union Regional Policy Working Papers, 2.

Enyedi, G. (2009). Competitiveness of the Hungarian regions. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin, 58(1), 33-47.

Foders, F. (1997). Regional competitiveness and training in Germany. Kiel Institute for the World Econ-žomy. Kiel Working Paper No, 797, 1-35

Ganchev, G. (1999). The competitive advantages of the regions. Creating competitive clusters in the Bulgarian Economy: factors, perspectives and strategies. Institute for Market Economics, Open Society Publishing, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Gatev, K. (1995). Introduction to statistics. LIA Publishing House, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Gavurova, B., Vagasova, T., & Kovac, V. (2016). Competitiveness assessment of Slovak Republic regions (pp. 175-186). European Financial System.

Ginevicius, R., Stasiukynas, A., & Gedvilaite, D. (2016, May). Complex assessment of the ecological development of the country’s region. 9th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management 2016” (pp. 1-8).

Ginevicius, R., Hogeforster, M., & Gedvilaite, D. (2014, May). The formation of the system of indicators of development of the country’s region. 8th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management 2014” (pp. 503-510).

Huggins, R., Izushi, H., & Thompson, P. (2013). Regional competitiveness: theories and methodologies for empirical analysis. JCC, 2(6), 155-172.

Huovari, J., Kangasharju, A., & Alanen, A. (2001). Constructing an index for regional competitiveness. Pellervo Economic Research Institute. Working Paper No 44 (June 2001), 1-22.

Ivanov, I. (2008, May). Evaluation of the competitiveness at the local level. Conference Proceedings, The 5th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management 2008”. VGTU, Vilnius, Lithuania (CD).

Ivanov, I. (2010, May). Index of competitiveness of the region in Bulgaria. Selected paper. volume II. The 6th International Scientific Conference “Business and Management 2010” (pp. 619-626). VGTU Publishing House “Technika”. Vilnius, Lithuania.

Ivanov, I. (2016). Economic problems of depressed regions in Bulgaria. Dissertation, University of Forestry, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Ivanov, I. (2017). Dynamics of competitiveness of the regions in Bulgaria. Trakia Journal of Sciences, 15(1), 42-50. Retrieved from Vol.15_2017/8.pdf

Ivanova, D., Stoenchev, N., Ivanov, I., Delijska, B., Popova, P., & Dragozova-Ivanova, E. (2010). Competitiveness of furniture enterprises in Bulgaria. Avangard Prima Publishing House, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Ivanova, D., Stoenchev, N., Kovacheva, S., & Ivanov, I. (2009, November). Studying of competitiveness of the furniture enterprises in Bulgaria. Proceeding of scientific papers of Scientific-Technical Conference on Innovation in woodworking industry and engineering design (pp. 126-130). Yundola, Bulgaria. Avangard Prima Publishing House, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Ivanova, D., Stoenchev, N., Kovacheva, S., Ivanov, I., & Kostadinov, А. (2008). Competitiveness of the furniture industry. Avangard Prima Publishing House, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Ivanova, S., Kamola, L., & Kamols, U. (2016, March). Income inequality and human capital as factors influencing economic development of region – case study of Latvia. Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (pp. 249-257). Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

Judrupa, I., & Senfelde, M. (2016, April). Introducing of smart work – opportunity to increase economic development of municipalities in Latvia. Economic Science for Rural Development: Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference (pp. 77-84). Latvian University of Agriculture. Latvia, Jelgava.

Judrupa, I., & Senfelde, M. (2008, October). The Competitiveness of regions in Latvia and problems of its evaluation. International Scientific Conference “Competitiveness in the Conditions of a Global Economy” (pp. 81-88). University of Niš, Serbija, Nis.

Komarova, V., Zjablova, O., & Denmukhametov, R. (2014). An infrastructure factor in regional competitiveness. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(18), 355.

Lengyel, I., & Rechnitzer, J. (2013). The competitiveness of regions in the Central European transition countries. The Macrotheme Review, 2(4), 106-121.

Mereuta, C., Albu, L., Iordan, M., & Chilian, M. (2007). A model to evaluate the regional competitiveness of the EU regions. Romanian Journal of Economic Forecasting, 3, 81-102.

Muntean, M., Niistor, R., & Nistor, C. (2010). Competitiveness of developing regions in Romania. WSEAS Transactions on Business and Economics, 7(3), 252-261.

Nevima, J., & Kiszova, Z. (2012). Evaluation of regional competitiveness in case of the Czech and Slovak Republic using analytic hierarchy process. Proceeding of the 1st WSEAS International Conference on Economics, Political and Law Science (EPLS’12) (pp. 269-274). Zlin, Univerzita Tomase Bati.

Nikolova, D., Tsvetkov, A., Ganev, P., Aleksiev, A., & Slavova, Z. (2015). The regional profiles. indicators of development. Institute for Market Economics, Sofia.

Nikolova, D., Tsvetkov, A., Ganev, P., Aleksiev, Y., & Slavova, Z. (2016). Regional profiles: indicators for development. Institute for Market Economy, Sofia.

NSI. (2018). Regional statistics and indicators for monitoring. Regional Statistics, National Statistical Institute, Sofia. Retrieved from

Pashev, K. (2003). Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy. BNB, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Rucinska, S., & Rucinsky, R. (2007). Factors of regional competitiveness. 2nd Central European Conference in Regional Science –CERS (pp. 902-911).

Snieska, V., & Bruneckiene, J. (2009). Measurement of Lithuanian regions by regional competitiveness index. Engineering economics, 61(1), 45-57.

Stoenchev, N. (2010). Possibilities for application of statistical methods in studying the company’s competitiveness. Avangard Prima Publishing House, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Stoenchev, N. (2016). Quality of life and specialization of the territory by economic activities in Bulgaria (statistical aspects). Intel Entrance Publishing House, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Stoenchev, N., & Ivanov, I. (2015). Manual with solved and unsolved problems in statistics (with application of EXCEL). University of Forestry, Sofia (in Bulgarian).

Turok, I. (2004). Cities, regions and competitiveness. Regional studies, 38(9), 1069-1083.