The Political Economy of Capabilities Accumulation: the Past and Future of Policies for Industrial Development. A Preface
This book is about industrial policies seen as intrinsic fundamental ingredients of all development processes: witness to that, every experience of successful industrialization, ranging from Germany and the USA, almost two centuries ago, all the way to Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, China and India nowadays. The notion of 'industrial policy' is understood here in a quite expansive manner. It comprises policies affecting 'infant industry' support of various kinds, but also trade policies, science and technology policies, public procurement, policies affecting foreign direct investments, intellectual property rights, and the allocation of financial resources. Industrial policies, in this broad sense, come together with processes of 'institutional engineering' shaping the very nature of the economic actors, the market mechanisms and rules under which they operate, and the boundaries between what is governed by market interactions, and what is not. The contributions to this book analyze from different angles the role played by industrial policies, in the foregoing broad sense, and by institution building within that great transformation leading from traditional, mostly rural, economies to economies driven by industrial activities (and nowadays also advanced services), able to systematically learn how to implement and eventually how to generate new ways of producing and new products under conditions of dynamic increasing returns. In this preface we pull together the major threads linking the various chapters of the book, addressing on the grounds of different national and regional experiences the patterns of knowledge accumulation, its political economy, the related distribution of rents, the role of trade, competition and IPR policies; the impact of institutions supporting technological learning and the interaction between macro policies and corporate behaviors.
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