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Industrial policy—an active government role in shaping the direction of the economy—is often disdained by Western-trained economists but frequently embraced by Asian policymakers. Is it the path to development success or a slippery slope that leads to development failure? “New Structural Economics: A Framework for Rethinking Development and Policy” by World Bank chief economist Justin Lin and contributing authors provides a timely opportunity to review the evidence. Are systemic reforms to strengthen the business climate enough? How can policymakers guard against the well-known risks of favoring specific sectors or firms? Is there such a thing as a "New Industrial Policy" and can it provide useful guidelines for developing countries? This debate is of particular interest for low-income countries in Africa and elsewhere and the advice provided by their development partners.
Introductory Remarks by
Center for Global Development
Professor of International Economics
Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies