5622 Special Topics in Economic Policy
Mag. Wolfgang Polt
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/16/23 to 02/28/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Monday 03/06/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 03/13/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 03/20/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 03/27/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 04/17/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 04/24/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 05/08/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 05/15/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 05/22/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 06/05/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 06/12/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 06/19/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11
Monday 06/26/23 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM TC.3.11


The course will deal with Industrial Policy. Industrial policy is an area of economic policy that has recieved increased attention in the past decades after some time of neglect from both economic theory as well as economic policy. Industrial Policy are all measures that try to support industrial development - either in general or directed towards specific industries. It has again come to the fore of economic policy debates two major reasons: on the one hand, a number of countries try to emulate the South-East Asian countries examples of successful catching-up development. Industrial policy is seen to have a major role in these attempts. On the other hand, international competition among industrial countries (as visible e.g. in the competition between USA, China and EU in the semiconductor industry) is heating up and industrial policy does play an important in this competition. And finally, in the 'great (digital, green) transformations' we are currently facing also industrial policy is seen as very important to reach the societal targets put forward for these transormations.

Against this background, a number of recent theoretical and empirical debates about the scope and the limits and about the most suited form of industrial policy have come up. The goal of this course is (i) to provide a comperehensive overview of these recent debates  (ii) to empower the participants to critically weigh the pros and cons, the scope and the limits and the conditions for successful industrial policy. It will be shown that debates about industrial policy are going to the core of the questions what governments can/cannot, should/should not do and where the espective limits of markets and governments are.

Learning outcomes

The envisaged learning outcomes are the ability to understand and critically discuss the currents strands of research on industrial policy, to apply the research results to practical cases (e.g. development strategies of individual countries or regions, industrial policies for 'green transformations', industrial policy in the digital age, ...), to summarize and present these arguments in oral and written form and to discuss them in group settings.

Attendance requirements

Physical presence is the rule, in specific cases also online formats are possible.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course will use various formats, e.g. presentation from lecturer (supported by online simulations), regular assigments between the courses, group work for presentations and paper writing (both with bilateral support from the lecturer)


Assessment will be based on (i) regular attendence and active participation in class [10%] (ii) fulfilment of the regular assignments (homework) [20%] (iii) an interim exam after the lectures on basic theoretical concepts and current empirical research [30%] (iv) oral presentations of group work on specific cases of industrial policy [40%]

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

In case of oversubscription of the course, those present at the first lecture will get preferential access.


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Recommended previous knowledge and skills

Knowledge of some basic economic concepts (e.g. 'market failure', externalities, economies of scale, ...) and the ability to understand and interpret standard empricial research (e.g. descriptive statistics, results of correlation and cluster analysis etc.). Good knowledge of general and economic history is valuable for the course

Availability of lecturer(s)

accessible via email: or; individual appointments possible if needed, group discussions in preparation of presentations and papers are foreseen

Last edited: 2023-03-05