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The industrial policy of competitiveness: A review of recent developments in the UK

  • Colin Wren
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    The article reviews the recent developments in UK competitiveness policy, and explores its relationship with industrial policy, including regional industrial policy. It argues that competitiveness is virtually synonymous with productivity growth, but that while four Competitiveness White Papers of the 1990s potentially broadened the scope of UK industrial policy, the shift from 'sectoral' to 'horizontal' measures has in fact helped much reduce the content of this policy. The article reviews current industrial policy and expenditure, distinguishing between the areas of science and technology, small firms and regional policy. It argues that industrial policy is now a part of competitiveness policy,being closely aligned to the efficiency role of government. It finds that while policy has converged on a narrower set of measures, the traditional boundaries between the science and technology, small firm and regional policy components have become much less clear-cut.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 9 ()
    Pages: 847-860

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:35:y:2001:i:9:p:847-860
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    1. Wren, Colin, 1996. "Grant Equivalent Expenditure on Industrial Subsidies in the Post-war United Kingdom," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(2), pages 317-53, May.
    2. Fagerberg, Jan, 1996. "Technology and Competitiveness," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 39-51, Autumn.
    3. John Lovering, 1999. "Theory Led by Policy: The Inadequacies of the 'New Regionalism' (Illustrated from the Case of Wales)," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 379-395, 06.
    4. Jim Taylor & Colin Wren, 1997. "UK Regional Policy: An Evaluation," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(9), pages 835-848.
    5. Keep, Ewart & Mayhew, Ken, 1999. "The Assessment: Knowledge, Skills, and Competitiveness," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-15, Spring.
    6. Dunford, Michael & Louri, Helen & Rosenstock, Manfred, 2001. "Competition, competitiveness, and enterprise policies," MPRA Paper 29971, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Harvey Armstrong, 2001. "Regional Selective Assistance: Is the Spend Enough and Is It Targeting the Right Places?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 247-257.
    8. Krugman, Paul R, 1996. "Making Sense of the Competitiveness Debate," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 17-25, Autumn.
    9. Boltho, Andrea, 1996. "The Assessment: International Competitiveness," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 1-16, Autumn.
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