Stephen S. Cohen & J. Bradford DeLong
I have no complaints about "industrial policy" except that it should not be anything different from "policy" period. If there are high-yielding investment in research, or infrastructure, or activity X that the private sector is not investing in (for reasons that do not impeach it being "high yielding") then a income (or utility) maximizing government should make the investment or give a Pigou subsidy to the private sector that equalizes private and positive externality inclusive return (and vice versa for Pigou tax and negative externality). Do we really need a category of "industrial policy" if government have NOT been acting like income maximizers, leaving projects with NPV>0 unfunded, uncertain of their ability to identify the positive externalities that merit Pigou subsidies, terrified at imposing Pigou taxes?
We should be skeptical of the person who suddenly discovers that they have been speaking prose (but badly).