Industrial Policy for National Champions by edited by Oliver Falck, Christian Gollier, and Ludger

By edited by Oliver Falck, Christian Gollier, and Ludger Woessmann

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4 A Case for Targeted Intervention: Industrial Niches The notion that the existing pattern of specialization may limit the evolution of comparative advantage over time has not received much attention in the growth literature so far. For example, in Romer (1990)’s product variety model the current set of inputs display the same degree of imperfect substitutability with respect to any new input that might be introduced, and therefore does not make one new input more likely than any other: this property stems directly from the fully symmetric nature of the Dixit–Stiglitz model of product differentiation upon which the Romer model is built.

This reveals instances of name changes, superficial reorganizations of business groups under different family investment vehicles, and the like. We are highly confident that our business turnover rates are accurate. In constructing our business turnover rates, we must define what we mean when we say a 1975 top-ten business has disappeared by 1996. If we require that the business no longer exists in any form, our turnover rates are very low across the board. Even companies that undergo spectacular bankruptcies can reemerge as shadows of their former selves—as is defined as the top-ten businesses of 1975 remaining in the top-ten lists in 1996, grow as fast as total GDP, retaining at least 10 percent of their 1975 workforce, or a combination of the criteria above.

Instead, it might be better to remove the barriers to innovation first and then to wait until several domestic industries have become world leaders before removing the barriers to international trade. 4 A Case for Targeted Intervention: Industrial Niches The notion that the existing pattern of specialization may limit the evolution of comparative advantage over time has not received much attention in the growth literature so far. For example, in Romer (1990)’s product variety model the current set of inputs display the same degree of imperfect substitutability with respect to any new input that might be introduced, and therefore does not make one new input more likely than any other: this property stems directly from the fully symmetric nature of the Dixit–Stiglitz model of product differentiation upon which the Romer model is built.

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