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Industrial policy in Britain since 1970: Changing values, assumptions and mechanisms

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-57
JournalJahrbuch fuer Wirtschaftsgeschichte
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2017


This article examines the change in the fundamental assumptions underpinning industrial policy from the mid-1970s in Britain. It necessarily contrasts the broadly supply-side concerns of industrial policy from the mid-1970s with the more demand-side concerns of the earlier ‘Golden Age’ period from 1945. Where in the earlier period the emphasis in industrial policy was on capital investment and the role of government in compensating for perceived market inefficiency, from the late 1970s this emphasis shifted to the need to improve the flexibility and quality of supply-side factors allied to a more optimistic view of the ability of the market to secure efficient outcomes.

    Research areas

  • Industrial policy, fixed capital investment, unemployment, deindustrialisation, trade unions

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