Interventionist industry policies by governments, such as the Queensland Government’s current hydrogen industry strategy, are usually viewed sceptically by economists, because they often deliver poor value for money for taxpayers and don’t have logical rationales. One notorious example from history is the Concorde, which was an incredible technical achievement and a beautiful airplane, but cost the British and French governments 11 billion pounds (as calculated by the Economist in 2003, so it would be more now due to inflation), and the end result was an aircraft that ultimately proved uneconomic to operate. I tell the story of Concorde in my latest Economics Explored podcast episode.
Show notes and a transcript of the episode are available at:
In my view, one of the main lessons from the Concorde experience is governments should avoid interventionist industry policies. Instead, they should focus on delivering essential services and setting competitive tax and regulatory policy settings.
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