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The evolution of industrial policy in the United Kingdom, 1964-1978

The evolution of industrial policy in the United Kingdom, 1964-1978

Guttmann, Robert P. (1979) The evolution of industrial policy in the United Kingdom, 1964-1978. PhD thesis, Thames Polytechnic.

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The thesis focuses on policy measures between 196A and 1978 to improve performance and growth in U.K.'s private industry. Underlying structural weaknesses and institutional constraints characteristic to U.K.'s company sector are identified and analysed in Part One. This exercise provides the basis for both a definition of the concept of "industrial policy" and a critical assessment in Part Two of its relevance and effectiveness to tackle industry's main difficulties. In discussing policy initiatives to assist companies with public funds for investment finance, industrial reorganisation and the application of new technology, a variety of problems associated with state intervention in private industry are highlighted. The various attempts by policy-makers to overcome shortcomings in the coordination of policy, communication with firms, public monitoring and exercise of control as a result of experience with existing measures and by means of new, more powerful instruments are examined in detail. Industry's growing difficulties and pressure on policy-makers to expand or at least improve public assistance meant that industry policy evolved, despite controversy and policy shifts, with a certain degree of continuity. In the three case-studies which follow, shipbuilding, computers and the NEB, these dynamics are explored in depth.

One useful contribution of this thesis is to explain industrial decline in the U.K. economy in terms of supply-side constraints in the private sector. This approach avoids the methodological shortcomings of currently popular theories which instead concentrate on factors outside private industry, such as the public sector or international trade. The analysis of overall industrial policy since 1$6A and the attempt to develop criteria for assessing its effectiveness contribute to a better understanding of this subject. The case studies cover new areas of research. By linking the analysis of policy-making with theoretical hypotheses concerning industry's main problems the effects of policy measures in private industry can be evaluated to determine both the limitations and the potential of state intervention in private industry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: industrial policy, political science, economics,
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Division of Economics
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2017 11:14

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