The threat to French industry is that it will be caught between the low labor costs of the developing world and the high-technology production of Germany, Japan and the U.S. The way out, this excellent book argues, is a new kind of national industrial policy that, by strengthening the strong points and eliminating the weak ones, will make the French economy internationally competitive. The many different measures this might require and the necessary mix of government intervention and freer play for private industry are thoughtfully discussed. Explanations of the vicious circles created by past measures and the difficulties democracies have in dealing with long-run problems lend a proper air of skepticism. The analysis is deeply set in a comparison with Germany and Japan, and the conclusions apply to other countries as well. The author is a young economist in the Ministry of Industry.
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