State Law and "Industrial Policy" in American Development, 1790-1987

Harry N. Scheiber
1987 California Law Review  
In the contemporary debate on industrial policy, it is only very recently that scholars and policy experts have shown much concern for the role of the states. This is attributable to the fact that the policy dialogue has centered on monetary and fiscal matters, international trade diplomacy and the protective tariff structure, and national labor relations issues. These are questions that have been framed and pursued mainly by the national government. They are not questions that focus attention,
more » ... at focus attention, except in peripheral ways, on the states. 1 This is not to say that ignoring analysis of the states' role is a weakness only in recent writing. In his summary view of government interventions that have been influential in shaping American economic development, the late distinguished economist and student of economic history Simon Kuznets acknowledged the importance of the states' role in shaping economic growth, but he failed to list even a single state policy as decisive. S. KUZNETS, ECONOMIC GROWTH AND STRUCTURE: SELECTED ESSAYS 108 (1965). Yet economic historians today uniformly deal with state policy and law as critical in shaping both institutions and the dynamics of economic change. See, e.g., J.
doi:10.2307/3480587 fatcat:osqmfelhqjhh7fg3kntv4ahigy