POLITICA INDUSTRIALE NEGLI STATI UNITI. Teoria, pratiche e una proposta per mitigare i “Government Failures

Mattia Tassinari


In recent years, especially during the global economic crisis, the industrial policy has emerged in political, academic, and public debate as one of the main topics in the promotion of socio-economic development. Alongside this “rebirth”, however, the difficulty of the government to implementing effective and efficient interventions has been highlighted. The main goal of this work is to understand, through the study of the American case, the characteristics and the major causes of the failures of the industrial policy, in order to formulate new proposals to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the interventions. The first part of the thesis describes the dominant theoretical approaches to public intervention. Reinterpreting this debate, this work illustrates how industrial policy should be considered, how State and Market can coexist, and in which way government intervention can be a tool to amplify the collective benefits arising from the productive dynamics. The second part of the work focuses on the historical reality, analyzing the US industrial policy since the early 80s to the first term of the Obama administration. In order to understand the role that can be played by government in modern economies, the study of the American case is extremely relevant. In fact, while the “traditional” rhetoric of the government, rooted in the US since the years of the Washington Consensus, has always rejected the industrial policy, it has been a constant presence in the history of American development. Therefore, in this scenario it is necessary to overcome the ideological debate on public intervention, and improve the ability of governments to respond to the challenges raised by the contemporary context. Starting from these considerations, the third part of the work focuses in particular on problems related to the promotion of strategic sectors. In this area a proposal to mitigate the vulnerability of the government in the defining of the policy goals is presented. The main idea developed is to establish a set of criteria to support public decision-makers in the identification of strategic sectors, thus promoting a more rigorous and transparent procedure of decision-making. In this regard, it is built a statistical tool - the Strategic Sector Index (SSI) – which synthesizes the value of different sectoral variables and provides a ranking of the strategic sectors for a given economy on the basis of policy priorities.

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ISSN: 1974-918X