John Page on industrial policy

MOOC lecture with AERC in Nairobi

John Page on industrial policy

On 4 December, John Page gives a presentation on industrial policy at a session of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) biannual research workshop in Nairobi, Kenya.

This event is part of a series of lectures delivered by Brookings Institution Senior Fellow and UNU-WIDER Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow, John Page, on industrialization in Africa. The series is based on a decade of work by UNU-WIDER inspired by three questions: why is there so little industry in Africa? Does it matter? What can be done about it?

The lectures are filmed and will form part of an internationally produced MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to be released be UNU-WIDER alongside a documentary in 2019. The landmark series includes lectures at the UONGOZI Institute in Dar Es Salaam, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in New York, the Department for International Development in London, the London School of Economics, and UNU-WIDER in Helsinki.

The MOOC is part of the UNU-WIDER project, in partnership with the Brookings Institute on Jobs, poverty and structural change in Africa.

Lecture: Industrial policy – what, why, and how?


Most economists in the Anglo-American tradition define industrial policy as the practice of selective interventions at the firm or industry level, and generally dismiss it as ineffective at best and harmful at worst. East Asian economists tend to take a more charitable view. Recently, a certain amount of convergence seems to be taking place. In this lecture, we consider the rationale for industrial policy and whether it can succeed in practice.