Learning from Innovation in the Health Industry
Edited by Marco R. Di Tommaso and Stuart O. Schweitzer
Introduction: why apply industrial policy to the health industry?
Marco R. Di Tommaso and Stuart O. Schweitzer* INTRODUCTION An important goal of most industrialized countries is to promote its high-technology sectors, such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals, biotech, and telecommunication. These countries fear being left behind in the race for supremacy in each of these ﬁelds. An important issue facing any country desiring to compete is the appropriate role of government in these eﬀorts. Many countries have a long tradition of promoting favoured industries in Europe and Asia, such as Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Korea. The USA has less of an explicit attitude toward this policy. Nonetheless, even the USA has engaged in strong government-supported industrial assistance programmes in areas including aerospace, aircraft, computer chips and ﬂat display screens. Approaches are often less direct than those in Europe and Asia, but they are no less strong. WHY SHOULD HIGH-TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES BE PROMOTED? The issue of industrial promotion is one of the most debated in our recent history (Deane, 1989). However, it should be emphasized that this issue has taken on special signiﬁcance in recent years because of the growth of hightechnology, knowledge-based industries, and new answers are sought to develop, foster or protect these new industries.1 Dominant economic theory has reached the conclusion that, with few exceptions, government intervention is likely to lead to less, rather than more, eﬃciency: in this context, according to mainstream Economics, there is no need for industrial promotion policy. Nonetheless, if one looks at the last two centuries of our industrial development...