Economia e Politica Industriale

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 305–313 | Cite as

Industrial policy in France: in search of lost time

  • Philippe Mustar


The article is a contribution to the debate on industrial policy launched by this special issue. It considers that before the question of industrial policy can be tackled, it is crucial to identify what is wrong with industry today, and which causes 21st-century industrial policy should deal with. The paper documents why the deficit of manufactured goods in the French trade balance is a major problem. It shows that the ability to maintain robust industrial capacity on French soil means to keep a capacity to innovate. It goes on to present several horizontal and vertical instruments used by public authorities to try to boost the competitiveness of French industrial companies, or to “reindustrialize the country”. These numerous actions raise the question of the state’s strategic vision of industrial policy. Aligning macroeconomic and sectorial policies stays a major challenge.


Industrial policy Manufacturing industry Innovation France 

JEL Classification

E6 L5 O4 


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Copyright information

© Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MINES ParisTech, PSL Research UniversityParisFrance

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