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This article evaluates the competitive efficiency of 67 Costa Rican small and medium-sized businesses for 2017. Building on the resource-based view postulates, the proposed competitiveness index is based on the methodology developed by Lafuente, Leiva, Moreno and Szerb (2019b) in which ten interconnected competitive pillars shape business competitiveness. By employing a non-parametric model (Data Envelopment Analysis, DEA) with a single constant input and one output (competitiveness index) the results of the empirical application reveal that, on average, the analyzed Costa Rican SMEs can improve their competitive efficiency by 54.45%. Additionally, the findings indicate that businesses in manufacturing and service sectors present the highest competitive efficiency levels, which is explained by the pillars linked to product innovation and business networks. The proposed competitiveness index is a valuable tool that can support businesses’ decision-making processes as well as the design of specific strategies that contribute to improving resource allocation processes and the configuration of competitive pillars at business level.
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