Subsidy Policies for Production Automation:Mercantilism and Liberalism Revisited
AbstractIn the increasingly competitive international economy, a country's economic policy is increasingly apt to be modelled on that of its most successful competitor. This article examines the United States, Japan, France, and West Germany to see whether and under what circumstances their economic policies, industrial structure, and technological positions are converging or diverging. In this special attention is paid to strategies concerning computer-aided production automation. In previous decades states used to choose whether or not to adopt a liberal or mercantilist policy according to their level of technological development. However, since the restructuring race began in the 1970s there has been more attention paid to the question of how a country's overall economic structure compares with that of its competitors. In fact, the typologies used to differentiate between liberalism and mercantilism may have to be revised as the pressures for policy convergence prompt countries to recoalesce into new alliances.