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Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright? Industrial Policy Lessons from Ireland and East Asia for Small African Economies


  • David Bailey
  • Helena Lenihan
  • Ajit Singh


When comparisons in terms of industrial policy lessons to be learned have taken place, it has tended to be solely vis-a-vis the 'development state' East Asian experience. This paper broadens the analysis and considers lessons which African countries can learn fro other so-called 'tiger' economies including Ireland and the East and South Asian countries. The Irish model is relevant not least because of its emphasis on corporatism rather than simply relying on state direction in the operation of industrial policy. The Irish model is also more democratic in some senses and has protected workers' rights during the development process. Overall we suggest that some immediate actions are needed, notably with regard to the financial system in small African economies. Without such changes, a poorly functioning financial system will continue to keep investment at low levels. In relation to the small size of the African economies, the paper recommends regional integration and sufficient overseas development assistance (ODA) for infrastructural development.

Suggested Citation

  • David Bailey & Helena Lenihan & Ajit Singh, 2008. "Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright? Industrial Policy Lessons from Ireland and East Asia for Small African Economies," Working Papers wp374, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbr:cbrwps:wp374
    Note: PRO-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Patrizio Bianchi & Sandrine Labory, 2011. "Industrial Policy after the Crisis," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14127.

    More about this item


    industrial policy; developmental state; small African economies;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy

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