We’re now a week away from the Competitive Industries conference on “Making Growth Happen” on October 16 and 17. With more than 20 high-level speakers – including our keynoters Joseph Stiglitz and Don Graves, and with more than 500 internal and external participants already registered – the conference seems poised to be a landmark event.
Through this conference, we aim to start a discussion on a controversial topic in a non-controversial way. Prominent academics, from Stiglitz to Dani Rodrik, have explained that the world is turning massively to industrial policy pushes. The U.S. government, through Graves’ work at the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, is demonstrating that this movement is also affecting the countries that have the strongest reputation for non-interventionist economic policies. Nevertheless, these approaches are complex and difficult to implement, and they run the risk of allowing rent-seeking behavior and economic distortions without social returns.
We therefore also wanted to hear from other economists, and we launched a call for papers, asking for new ideas and research on the theme of the conference: the “how to” of growth and jobs. We wanted to focus attention on possible lessons that could have immediate policy implications in our country work.
The Selection Committee for these papers was composed of Vijaya Ramachandran of the Center for Global Development (CGD); Shanta Devarajan, the World Bank Group’s Chief Economist for MENA; Mary C. Hallward-Driemeier, the Lead Economist in DEC; Martin Rama, the Chief Economist for South Asia; and myself. We are pleased to announce that the winning papers are:
- Bob Rijkers, Caroline Freund, and Antonio Nucifora, Bob Rijkers, Caroline Freund, and Antonio Nucifora, The Perils of Industrial Policy: Evidence from Tunisia
- Olivier Cadot, Ana M. Fernandes, Julien Gourdon, and Aaditya Mattoo, Olivier Cadot, Ana M. Fernandes, Julien Gourdon, and Aaditya Mattoo, Are the Benefits of Export Support Durable? Evidence from Tunisia
- Luke Jordan, Sebastien Turban, and Laurence Wilse-Samson, Learning Within the State: A Research Agenda
- Kenneth L. Kraemer and Jason Dedrick, Who Captures the Value in Technological Innovation? The distribution of benefits in the GMR-based global storage industry
This is a diverse set of papers, ranging from rigorous studies of individual policies to new frameworks for thinking about policymaking.