21st Century U.S. Industrial Policy and Its Illusive Beneficiaries
A Centre for Governance & Regulation (CGR) public lecture in association with the Institute for Policy Research (IPR).
On Thursday 26 April, Professor Amy Glasmeier of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will give a lecture on industrial policy in the US at the University of Bath.
This is a CGR event run in association with the IPR. The CGR is a centre within the School of Management that combines expertise across various social sciences.
Abstract: Some would say industrial policy (IP) has always been with us. A creature of early 20th-century local economic development practice, the downturn of the 1970s inspired the formation of U.S. federal, state and local policies designed to harness the benefits of sectoral growth in order to counter a decline of traditional industries. The resulting economic development programming yielded few winners while unleashing an arms race of smokestack chasing and indiscriminant rewards distribution. 40 years later, few places gained sufficient leverage to reshape their economies around new sectors. On today’s stage, we find a new type of industrial policy, one with a modern twist: financial backing of unprecedented scale (billion dollar bets). How will such bets play out and will communities benefit? Do the goals of this new policy targeting include beneficiaries of by-gone eras or is the resulting development impulse a difference in kind? Can we formulate policies to foster inclusive economic development or is the price of progress the creation of more “left behinds”? Using the case of life sciences in the Boston Metropolitan Area of the U.S., we set up the story of an agency designed to foster growth of extraordinary scope and then ask the question how the local scale fits in if at all in an era of new (old) industrial development.
Amy Glasmeier is Professor of Economic Geography and Regional Planning, in Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She runs LRISA, the lab on Regional Innovation and Spatial Analysis, in DUSP. Professor Glasmeier is a Founding Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, the leading international journal on the spatial dimensions of contemporary socio-economic-political change.
Professor Glasmeier's research focuses economic opportunities for communities and individuals through the investigation of the role of geographic access and the effect of locational accident on human development. She won a 2018 grant from the National Science Foundation for her Collaborative Research on Understanding the benefits and mitigating the risks of interdependence in critical infrastructure systems. Recent awards include the Fellow award from American Association of Geographers (December 2017) and the MIT Office of the Dean for Graduate Education Receipt of the Award from the “Committed to Caring” campaign (2017).
She is currently writing a textbook on the Geography of the Global Energy Economy. Her other project, "Good Bye American Dream" traces the ideology of opportunity that undergirds America's relationship to the poor. Through analysis of census data, popular media, and personal narratives, Professor Glasmeier is exploring the contradictions in the most sacred of constructs by demonstrating the ephemeral nature of economic opportunity encumbered by locational accident, institutional inertia, and the unintended consequences of public policy. The work builds off of her long running Living Wage Calculator, which analyzes the minimum level of income required for individuals and families to pay for basic living expenses. Recent press includes an interview on MIT Spectrum.
Professor Glasmeier holds a Masters and PhD from UC Berkeley and currently serves as Associate Planning Board Member in the Town of Cohasset.