Panle Jia Barwick, Myrto Kalouptsidi, Nahim Bin Zahur, 11 September 2019

Despite the prevalence of industrial policies around the world, few empirical studies directly evaluate their welfare consequences. This column reveals that the scale of China’s industrial policy targeting the shipbuilding industry is massive, with the lion’s share going to entry subsidies. The effectiveness of different policy instruments is mixed, and the efficacy of industrial policy is significantly affected by the presence of boom and bust cycles, and by heterogeneity in firm efficiency. The ‘white list’ of firms chosen for government support did not include the most efficient firms. 

Myrto Kalouptsidi, 09 September 2017

China’s shipbuilders have doubled their market share in recent years. It is hard to determine the role of industrial policy, particularly subsidies, in this because we do not know what policies are in place. This column argues that subsidies decreased shipyard costs in China by between 13% and 20% between 2006 and 2012. These policy interventions have led to substantial misallocation of global production with no significant consumer surplus gains. Japan, in particular, has lost market share.

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