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International Handbook on Industrial Policy

Edited by Patrizio Bianchi and Sandrine Labory

This timely and much-needed Handbook reconsiders an old topic from a fresh perspective, raising a number of new, interesting and worthwhile issues in the wake of ten years of globalization. This comprehensive analysis illustrates that old-style industrial policies whereby the government directly intervened in markets, and was often the producer itself, are no longer relevant. Structural changes occurring in economies – summarized in the term ‘globalization’ – are triggering the definition and implementation of new industrial policies. The contributors, leading experts in their field, unite to evaluate this shift of over a decade ago.
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Chapter 5: Do Informational Service Activities Translate into New Industrial Policy Requirements?

Jacques De Bandt


Jacques De Bandt 1 Introduction Industrial policies were in their heyday in the 1970s. While transfers from the state to enterprises were increasing at an accelerating pace, in most European countries they launched violent debates within OECD spheres. For one thing, the interpretation (De Bandt, 1983, p.36) being that the countries had to face and to manage the recent crisis (already a crisis of deindustrialization, because of the NICs), these policies were, very pragmatically, recognized as a kind of inescapable response, aiming at preventing extreme industrial damage. Even while the real nature of the crisis was not clear, for some time, the crisis was there and governments had to assume their responsibilities. But, on the other hand, such massive state interventions (in deeply affected sectors) were difficult to accept from the standpoint of the orthodox market economy. A compromise of principle was found, by introducing (rather hypocritically) a distinction between positive and negative industrial policies (Michalski, 1983, p.126), according to whether they were in line or not with what market mechanisms would have worked out in any case. The concept of ‘positive adjustment policies’ was proclaimed in a 1982 OECD Declaration of Ministers. But by then the industrial policy tide was over. The move towards deregulation, privatization and so on, towards more orthodox market principles, initiated in the Anglo-Saxon world, was rapidly gaining momentum. Even while the role played by industrial policies – in the form of industrial development strategies, referring to some kind of plan rationality (Johnson, 1982)...

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