Deindustrialisation, Reindustrialisation and Development

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-8-34-43

V. Krasil'shchikov, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (;


The paper focuses on deindustrialisation, which appears to be as the diminishing share of manufacturing industry in GDP and employment. This phenomenon emerged in the mid-20th century, initially in Great Britain and the United States, but spread to other developed countries in the late 1960s –1970s. Later, in the 1980s, deindustrialisation took place in Latin America, too. At the turn of the century, it embraced the newly industrialised countries (“tigers”) of East Asia and the Asian giants, China and India. The author differentiates deindustrialisation in developed and developing (emerging) countries. In the former case, it is the effect of the internal development (productivity growth, technological upgrading, etc.), whereas deindustrialisation in countries of catching-up development is premature, because it begins earlier than its all proper premises have matured. Premature deindustrialisation does not succeed in progressive technological changes in economy. Attempts to find an alternative to premature deindustrialisation in the state-led industrial policy can have a limited effect. They do not take into account the large social base of economic policy which is aimed at maintenance of financial stability but aggravates premature, negative deindustrialisation. As the case of Brazil demonstrates, not only the old upper, but also the new low-middle and low social groups prefer such stability instead of reindustrialisation. At the same time, the former poor, who abandoned poverty due to the Workers' Party (PT) government’s social policy in Brazil, in their majority are not prepared for a skilled industrial labour and other kinds of contemporary economic activities. They have become consumers but not yet labourers of the 21st century. The seemingly obvious resolution of this problem by means of education improvement is not as simple as it appears at a first glance. It requires a profound revision of social policy as a whole, which has to be aimed at the development of creative activity, this genuine foundation of innovations and technological progress. Therefore, the real choice is not between deindustrialisation and reindustrialisation but between progressive, creative and regressive, destructive deindustrialisation.


Argentina, Brazil, China, deindustrialisation, development, East Asia, innovations, Latin America, manufacturing industry, neoliberalism 


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For citation:
Krasilshchikov V. Deindustrialisation, Reindustrialisation and Development. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2016, vol. 60, No 8, pp. 34-43.

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