In a context of weak growth, high unemployment, unbalanced public finances and persistent external deficit,we are witnessing the return of a proactive approach to industrial policy and, even in France the return of direct intervention in industry. Sector-focused public intervention is thus once again conceivable, while industry is once more perceived as a reservoir of jobs, exports and growth.
Can there be a future without industry? Answering this question is not considered as obvious in this Note. Reflection appears to be essential with regard to the aim of industrial policy (what is industry and why is it needed?) as well as its methods (does the government have the tools, information and modus operandi required for its action?).
We argue that the political discourse needs to be adapted to encourage restructuring and economic dynamism.
Published by le Conseil d’Analyse Economique