Solving the Riddle of Industrial Policy: A Comparative Perspective

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Industrial policy would appear to be fertile ground for the application of evaluative comparison, that is, the use of comparative methods to elicit principles for policy improvement. Comparative methods have been used, although often on a highly selective basis, to support or rebut arguments about targeted government intervention in industry. This paper argues that it is only when industrial policy is reconceptualised as a system of incentives rather than as a set of allocative decisions that evaluative comparison comes into its own. By developing and applying the 'most different' method of comparison, it is possible to discern the key elements of successful industrial policy in a form which can be used to bring about practical improvement in any given country.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1996

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