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Digital Growth Strategy

This TransNum seminar will apply the notion of growth strategies (Hassel and Palier) to the policy instruments, goals and motivations developed by various governments in order to adjust their national economy to the digital transformation of capitalism, boost digitalization and favour national actors and sectors.

Event, TransNum Seminar

In a recent collective book, Anke Hassel and Bruno Palier proposes to analyse government economic and social policies and reforms with the notion of growth strategies, ie “a (relatively coherent) series of decisions and reforms, taken by either governments or producers' groups (economic and social actors) in order to boost growth and stimulate job creation in a specific nation, and the rationale for these decisions”. During this session of our seminar on “Digital Transitions” (in French “Transition Numériques”), we will apply this notion to the policy instruments, goals and motivations developed by various governments in order to adjust their national economy to the digital transformation of capitalism, boost digitalization and favour national actors and sectors. We will look at the German and Italian cases, and also compare various strategies to boost Skill intensive services jobs in countries entering the digital, knowledge based economy.

Programm

“Contested Terrain: three battlefields in which to study the digital economy” by Anke Hassel

“The increasing dissemination of digital tools and the establishment of a digital infrastructure sparked a transformation towards digital economies. A central feature of digital economies are platforms. Premised upon network effects and the control of the flow of information converted into data points, they have become a disruptive force in the business landscape. Distinguishing between infrastructure and sectoral platforms we show that the current trajectory of the digital transformation is dominated by big tech companies because they both provide and control the digital infrastructure. However, the current trajectory is not inevitable and different regulatory and business models are possible. We analyse three key battlefields that will decide over the future of the digital economy: (1) Growth trajectories, (2) regulation of infrastructure platforms and (3) the debate over employment and labour standards”

Anke Hassel is Professor of Public Policy at the Hertie School. From 2016 to 2019 she was the Scientific Director of the WSI at the Hans Böckler Foundation. Her research focus is on the labour market regulation, social partnership and the comparative political economy of developed industrial nations. She has served as expert in various committees on economic and labour policy of the German Federal Government. She has published in the British Journal of Industrial Relations, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Journal of European Public Policy, Governance, German Politics among others.Her latest publications is a 2019 special issue of the Journal of European Public Policy on The Political Economy of Pension Financialisation: Public Policy Responses to the Crisis (with Tobias Wiß) and (in collaboration with Bruno Palier) Growth and Welfare in Advanced Capitalist Economies, 2021, Oxford University Press.

“The Italian Industrial policy for digital growth” by Luigi Burroni

“In recent years, in Italy new attention has been paid to public policies for growth with a particular focus on the role played by digitalization, also driven by the EU Digital Agenda. In the public sector, a notable attention has been devoted to the support to digitalization of public administration and education, while in the private sector many efforts have been addressed to set up industrial policies able to trigger digitalization of both large-scale firms and SMEs. The presentation focuses on these processes. It will present a detailed analysis of Italian industrial policies for digital growth targeting the private sector (Industria 4.0, Impresa 4.0 and Transizione 4.0). What is their logic and the policy principles behind them (i.e. technological neutrality, horizontal intervention, simplicity and automatism, absence of policy-conditionality, bottom-up logic, etc.) and to explain the rationale of these principles.

What are the policy tools and characteristics of these measures (e.g. tax credit, fiscal incentives, hyper-depreciation incentives, high-tech upskilling instruments, digital innovation hub, etc.). What are the main results of this strategy: what kind of firms/workers benefit from them, and how they use these incentives and measures, what impact they are having.”

Luigi Burroni is professor of Economic sociology and Comparative political economy at the University of Florence (Italy). His research interests focus on the fields of local and regional development, industrial relations and comparative capitalism. He is the editor of the journal “Stato e Mercato” and director of the Research Unit “TIES - Trajectories of inclusion and growth in contemporary societies” of the University of Florence. Luigi Burroni has recently coordinated as principal investigator two research projects funded by the European Commission, on Active inclusion, industrial relations and labour market regulation, and on the Regulation of creative industries. His most recent book on the analysis of growth and social inclusion in Europe has been published by Il Mulino (Capitalismi a confronto. Istituzioni e regolazione dell’economia nei paesi europei).

“Knowledge-based competitiveness and job creation in the digital era: what are the Strategies of the ‘newcomer’ economies” by Sonja Avlijaš

“Social policy and political economy literature have held an implicit assumption that the state creates skills through investment in human capital, following which firms ‘automatically’ create well-paid knowledge-intensive jobs to match those skills. But there are also policies aimed at stimulating the creation of these jobs. This presentation, based on a research done with Bruno Palier, compares four distinct national knowledge-based competitiveness strategies and examines their relationship to job creation. The selected case studies are four ‘newcomer’ knowledge-based economies: Estonia, Finland, Ireland and South Korea. These countries’ higher than average annual growth rates over the past 30 years, coupled by the rapid expansion of educational and innovation-oriented policies, have been considered by many as leading examples of how countries can use ICT and skill upgrading to catch up what the more developed world and rapidly improve the socio-economic wellbeing of their population. This makes them interesting cases with many implications for other economies that are experiencing similar transformations in the era of knowledge-based growth.

Sonja Avlijaš is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie research fellow at the Faculty of Economics, Belgrade University and associate researcher at the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP) at Sciences Po, Paris. Sonja’s research focuses on how the experience of post-socialist transition in Eastern Europe can help us to understand the evolution of capitalist political economies in the era of globalisation. Sonja was a post-doctoral fellow at LIEPP from 2016-2018, and she holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). As an independent consultant, she conducts research for the European Commission.