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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 22: Industrial Policy: Perspectives, Experience, Issues

Christos N. Pitelis


Christos N. Pitelis 1 Introduction The objective of this chapter is to provide a bird’s eye view of extant alternative perspectives on industrial (and competition) policies, paying particular attention to the case of the European Union (EU). We also briefly explore the idea that non-classical ideas have currently achieved an almost mainstream status within EU policy circles. We claim this to be good news and (up to a point) a vindication of efforts by contributors to this volume (and to many others) over many years. Section 2 of the chapter deals with definitional issues and extant perspectives. Section 3 discusses practice, sketches an integrative framework, assesses recent EU policies that seem to draw on evolutionary/resource-based ideas, and discusses implications for transition and developing countries, and issues of implementation. Section 4 offers a summary and conclusions. 2 Industrial and competition policies: theories and international experience Definitional issues The term ‘industrial policy’ (IP hereafter) refers to a set of measures taken by a government and aiming at influencing a country’s industrial performance towards a desired objective.1 Competition policies refer to the stance governments adopt towards the role of competition between firms and (in) industries’ economic development, and the measures they take to implement their objectives. Competition policies (CPs hereafter) usually attempt to influence the degree of competition in industries, for example, the food or textile industry. In this context they are part and parcel of a more general category, that of supply-side industrial policies. As...

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