The purpose of the study is to analyze and compare the financial performance of manufacturing firms of Central and South European, Scandinavian and Balkan countries. In addition, the impact of firm’s productivity on country’s export intensity, foreign direct investments, R&D activity and financing costs is examined. This is the first comparative study making an inter-country, interregional and inter-manufacturing sector comparison of the financial performance of manufacturing firms in European, Scandinavian and Balkan regions through selected countries. This research attempts to investigate the relation of macro variables, such as country export intensity, FDI and R&D on the competitiveness of the manufacturing firms in those countries measured on the firm level. In order to access the factors that affect the competitiveness of the manufacturing firms in each one of the 15 countries of the sample, we run 15 Tobit (truncated) models, using balanced panel data for the period 2008-2011.
Keywords: Manufacturing, Performance, FDI, R&D, Competitiveness, Sales per Employee