Global Production and Industrial Policy

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Economics

Module overview

This module introduces students to the analysis of the global production (and trade) system, its evolution, structure and interdependencies, as well as the ways in which industrial policies have an impact on these systems. International economics, theories of the growth of the firm and industrial organisation, technological change and innovation, are selectively introduced to disentangle value creation, capture and distribution dynamics both within and across countries.

Industrial and trade performance indicators as well as production system models (GVCs, GPNs, sectoral systems of innovation, industrial clusters and districts) are also introduced. These models are framed within a generalised linkage model stressing production, technological, consumption and fiscal interdependencies among sectors and productive activities.

The economics of industrial policy (its designing principles, governance mechanisms and evaluation techniques) are analysed in a comparative framework by reviewing the global (and historical) variety of industrial policy approaches, models and packages. Particular emphasis is assigned to the study of technology and financial infrastructures.

Students will finally familiarise with the complexity associated with managing policy interdependencies (policy matrix approach), and the importance of governance coordination and policy alignment (among different - but closely complementary - policy areas) for industrial policy effectiveness.

Students pursuing a degree external to the Department of Economics should contact the convenor for approval to take this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • understand the structure and focal interdependencies in global production systems
  • understand the variety of industrial organisations and production system models and their relationships in a global context
  • understand the main drivers of technological change, innovation and growth
  • understand and evaluate the economics of industrial policy, theoretical principles and debates
  • understand the variety of industrial policy experiences and evaluate the role of financial and technological infrastrcutures
  • understand principles for industrial policy alignment and governance coordination

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: Exam 70% / coursework 30% (1 essay). Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.

Suggested reading

  • Best, M. 1990. The New Competition. Institutions of Industrial Restructuring. Polity Press.
  • Chandler, A. 1990. Scale and Scope. The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism. Harvard University Press.
  • Chang, H.J. 1996. The Political Economy of Industrial Policy. Macmillan.
  • Cimoli, M. et al (eds). 2009. Industrial Policy and Development. Oxford University Press
  • Hirschman, A. 2013. The Essential Hirschman. Princeton University Press.
  • Lazonick, W. 2009. Sustainable Prosperity in the New Economy?. UPJohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • Milberg, W. and D. Winkler. 2013. Outsourcing economics. Global value chains and capitalist development. Cambridge University Press.
  • Penrose, E. (1959) The Theory of the Growth of the Firm, Macmillan.
  • Stiglitz, J. and Lin, J.Y. (eds.) 2013. The Industrial Policy Revolution I-II, Palgrave.
  • Tassey, G. 2007. The Technology Imperative. Edward Elgar.


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