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

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  • Colin Wren

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin Wren, 2001. "The industrial policy of competitiveness: A review of recent developments in the UK," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(9), pages 847-860.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:35:y:2001:i:9:p:847-860
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400120090266
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dunford, Michael & Louri, Helen & Rosenstock, Manfred, 2001. "Competition, competitiveness, and enterprise policies," MPRA Paper 29971, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Jim Taylor & Colin Wren, 1997. "UK Regional Policy: An Evaluation," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(9), pages 835-848.
    3. 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.
    4. Fagerberg, Jan, 1996. "Technology and Competitiveness," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 39-51, Autumn.
    5. Boltho, Andrea, 1996. "The Assessment: International Competitiveness," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 1-16, Autumn.
    6. 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, June.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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 317-353, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Salvador, Elisa, 2008. "Regional Innovation Policies In The United Kingdom: The New Industry-Heis Relationship And The Role Of Science Parks," Revista Galega de Economía, University of Santiago de Compostela. Faculty of Economics and Business., vol. 17(1).
    2. David Bailey & Nigel Driffield, 2007. "Industrial Policy, FDI and Employment: Still ‘Missing a Strategy’," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 189-211, December.
    3. Nicholas Crafts & Alan Hughes, 2013. "Industrial Policy for the Medium to Long-term," Working Papers wp455, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    4. Crafts, Nicholas, 2012. "Creating Competitive Advantage: Policy Lessons from History," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 91, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Sue Konzelmann & Marc Fovargue-Davies, 2013. "'Picking Winners' in a Liberal Market Economy: Modern Day Heresy - or Essential Strategy for Competitive Success?," Working Papers wp441, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    6. Dranev, Yakov & Kuznetsov, Boris & Kuzyk, Mikhail & Pogrebnyak, Evgeny & Simachev, Yuri, "undated". "Experience in Implementing Industrial Policy in the Russian Federation in 2000-2012: Institutional Features, Interest Groups, Main Lessons," Published Papers nvg137, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.

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