The methodological approaches of determining of living standard in regions are presented in this article. Studies of living standardare complex, and in order to compare regions, multivariate statistical methods are suggested for use. Other approaches may specifyand clarify the regional features of living standard. The regional cost of living surveys in Lithuania studies are not prevalent, but themethodology can be adapted to the Lithuanian case.
This article aims to compare the change of living standard in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia after joining the European Union. The characteristics of living standard are analyzing before joining the EU and after 2004. It is also compared changes of living standard characteristics after the economic crisis. Indicators of living standard, such as the average monthly gross wages, consumer price index, purchasing power, unemployment rate, at-risk-of-poverty rate and others are calculated and compared. The three Baltic states are not only compared with each other, but are also analyzed in the context of the EU. Thus, it can be stated that among the three Baltic States, Estonia is distinguished by highest living standard. Although before the integration Lithuania was ahead of Latvia, but now Lithuania was lower than Latvia by particular characteristics of living standard.
Cluster development is one of determinants used in the regional competitiveness that are related to the presence of competitive local suppliers and competitive local industries in the regional economy. The correlation analysis permits to conclude that regions, which are more competitive, have more developed clusters and regions with more developed clusters are more competitive. However, the comparison between competitiveness and cluster development of particular regions reveal that the impact of clusters on competitiveness can differ across regions and countries, thus creating challenges for policy makers. The paper focuses on the evaluation of the clusters’ approach in promoting regional productivity, innovation and economic growth leading to increased competitiveness, yet arguing that the targeted cluster development can foster structural change leading to improved economic performance, as well as welfare.