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Baldwin, Richard
Martin, Philippe J.
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[Journal:] EIB Papers [ISSN:] 0257-7755 [Volume:] 11 [Year:] 2006 [Issue:] 1 [Pages:] 134-157
Spillovers from national industrial policies can cause helpful or harmful competition among policy makers and helpful or harmful interactions among the targeted industries. As a result, it is not in general possible to say whether industrial policy coordination is good or bad. However, reaching agreement at the EU level on any type of policy - trade policy, monetary policy or industrial policy - is costly in terms of time, information, and political goodwill. The contrast between the vagueness of the benefits of coordination and the surety of the decision-making costs suggests that the EU has no need to set up a new institutional structure for coordinating industrial policy. In the few cases where the merits of coordination are obvious, such as public spending on R&D, they will be obvious to all and ad hoc cooperation will work.
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