Industrial policy and development

Vol. 26 No. 2 (2006)

Apr-Jun / 2006
Published April 1, 2006
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Suzigan, Wilson, and João Furtado. 2006. “Industrial Policy and Development”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 26 (2):163-85.

Industrial policy and development

Wilson Suzigan
Departamento de Política Científica e Tecnológica, Instituto de Geociências/UNICAMP
João Furtado
Departamento de Engenharia da Produção, Escola Politécnica/USP
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 26 No. 2 (2006), Apr-Jun / 2006, Pages 163-185


This paper aims at contributing to the debate on industrial policy and economic development in Brazil. At first, theoretical approaches that support industrial policy- making are discussed, with emphasis on the neoschumpeterian/evolutionary approach, which focuses on innovation as prime mover of economic development and on the co-evolution of technologies, institutions, and industries and firms structures. Next, such an approach is applied to explain some successful experiences of industrial policy-making and economic development in Brazil up to the end of the 1970s, and the failures to implement such a policy from the 1980s onwards. Finally, the present government industrial policy is evaluated, arguing that although it has some positive aspects like the focus on innovation, clearly defined targets and a new institutional organization, it fails as an economic development policy because of weaknesses such as incompatibility with macroeconomic policy, inconsistencies of policy instruments, deficiencies in infrastructure and in the science, technology and innovation system, and lack of coordination and political drive.

JEL Classification: L52; L60.

Keywords: industry industrial policy innovation technology development