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Do We Need National Champions? If So, Do We Need a Champions-Related Industrial Policy? An Evolutionary Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Oliver Falck

    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research and CESifo)

  • Stephan Heblich

    () (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Public Policy Group,)

Abstract

This paper discusses the role of so-called national champions within the context of the EU's ambitious goal to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economic region in the world by 2010. We find football to be a useful analogy in our discussion of national champions. There are many different types of football players: veteran performers who are past their prime, young stars who have not yet developed their full potential, fans' darlings, and the actual stars - he key performers. For a team to be consistently successful across time, it needs to maintain the right mix of different types of players, particularly in regard to current and future key performers. What makes a key performer a "real" star is not only extraordinary talent but also, and perhaps even more important, ability to be a team player and inspire others to be the same. Applying this analogy to the economic field, we come to the conclusion that the "real" champions in the business environment serve as network pilots within regional networks. By fostering a dynamic economic environment, they create their own rents, unlike less successful firms who concentrate on unproductive rent seeking and shifting.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich, 2007. "Do We Need National Champions? If So, Do We Need a Champions-Related Industrial Policy? An Evolutionary Perspective," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-088, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2007-088
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    File URL: http://zs.thulb.uni-jena.de/receive/jportal_jparticle_00082398
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    national champions; industrial policy; evolutionary economics; systems of innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • O25 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • P11 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform

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