Export Growth and Industrial Policy: Lessons from the East Asian Miracle Experience

Nov 2005
Industrial policy was for many years associated in policy discourse with failed interventionist import substitution strategies despite its apparent success in East Asia. Further despite the obvious point that in the real world 'markets fail' and enterprises impinge on each other, so that inevitably private and social returns deviate, public policy interventions to try to address these issues in the context of manufacturing have been treated with considerable suspicion. Industrial policy has seen a minor revival in recent times, however, stimulated in part by new theorizing and in part by ongoing debates on 'national competitiveness' strategies which have offered a new entrée in the context of globalization. The paper commences with a survey of the evidence on export growth and industrial policy in the NIEs, before turning to lessons for contemporary policy. This paper was prepared to be presented at the LAEBA Second Annual Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 28-29 November, 2005.