Losing Out on Industrial Policy: The Chicago Case
Clavel, Pierre; O'Neill-Kohl, Sara
While other nations were finding ways to intervene productively in their economic machinery in the post-war period, the United States moved from the pragmatic approach of the New Deal period, to avoidance of real economic policy intervention. With the crisis resulting from the losses in the financial sectors in 2008, this ideological umbrella was shorn away. What remained was the difficult task of reconstructing not just the willingness to intervene in various industrial sectors, but the capacity. In this paper, we first examine the wave of manufacturing plant shutdowns in Chicago in the 1980s. We then present two parallel stories about how social movements generated new institutions in the immediate response to plant shutdowns, and in city efforts to counter job loss with what turned out to be a successful rear guard action in the mid-1990s. Finally, we attempt a synthesis, to see what guidance there is in this story for present day attempts to maintain the nation’s manufacturing base.
manufacturing; deindustrialization; labor; industrial policy; Chicago; economic development