Rethinking Industrial Policy for the Data-driven Economy

CIGI Paper No. 192

October 4, 2018

This paper reviews industrial policy in theory and historical practice. It makes the case for a fundamental reframing based on the centrality of data to the data-driven digital economy, the various roles that data plays in this economy (as a medium of digital transactions, as intangible capital and as infrastructure of a digitized economy), and the heightened scope for market failure in the data-driven economy. A number of points to guide the formation of industrial and innovation policy in the knowledge-based and data-driven digital economy are suggested. As part of their data strategies, countries should assess the market value of data generated in the exercise of public sector governance and data generated in Canadian public space; put in place procedures to capture data and regulate its capture; and use procurement to develop new capabilities in the private sector.

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About the Author

Dan Ciuriak is a senior fellow at CIGI, where he is exploring the interface between Canada’s domestic innovation and international trade and investment. He is the director and principal of Ciuriak Consulting, Inc.