Industrial policy in developing countries: overview and lessons from seven country cases

Industrial policy in developing countries: overview and lessons from seven country cases

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Altenburg, Tilman
Discussion Paper 4/2011

Bonn: German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)

ISBN: 978-3-88985-533-6
Price: 6 €

It is now widely accepted that the countries that managed to catch up with the old industrialised, high-income countries are the ones whose governments proactively promoted structural change. But industrial policies also frequently fail. The risk of failure is particularly high in latecomer countries, where bureaucracies are typically weak and political systems strongly rely on clientelism and patronage. This study explores the scope for and performance of industrial policies in seven low and lower-middle-income countries. It confirms that many industrial policies have failed, but also shows that in some cases, industrial policies have indeed accelerated structural transformation – even in political regimes with fairly strong authoritarian and clientelist traits, such as Tunisia, Vietnam, and Ethiopia.

About the author

Altenburg, Tilman

Economic Geographer

Tilman Altenburg

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