VIDEO: Peter Spiegler, “Marketcrafting”

On October 3, 2023, BESI hosted a talk by Peter Spiegler, Senior Researcher at The New Institute of Political Economy, discussing his new report, Marketcrafting: A 21st-Century Industrial Policy (co-authored with Chris Hughes), which argues for a “specifically progressive marketcrafting vision that can achieve major policy goals in a just and equitable manner while also minimizing inflationary impacts.” (An article by Spiegler and Hughes summarizing the report can be found here.)

“Industrial policy has come back in a big way,” said David Grewal, Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law, who introduced the talk. “What that means I think remains to really be settled. There’s still an ongoing debate about it in all its dimensions and how deeply it will be entrenched, and how long it will be with us. I’m among those who are rooting for it. But I think there’s lots to be explored about its limits and potential… I really think it’s vital that we get cross-disciplinary interest in industrial policy.”

In his talk, Spiegler acknowledged the influence on his work the 2018 book, Marketcraft: How Governments Make Markets Work, by UC Berkeley’s Steven Vogel, Director of the Political Economy Program, the Il Han New Professor of Asian Studies, and a Professor of Political Science and Political Economy . “I can’t imagine a better place to be talking about marketcraft and marketcrafting and the return of discourse over industrial policy,” Spiegler said. “Steve Vogel’s work obviously has been a major source for [co-author Chris Hughes] and me…. We were trying to build on his work and apply it to current policies.”

Spiegler discussed the recent shift in U.S. economic policy, marked by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act, which have already led to increases in factory production in industries such as semiconductors. “On the economic side, we often worry that fiscal policy will crowd out private investment and maybe it won’t have any effect on the economy at all,” he said. “But we’re already seeing that there is a significant impact of these policies in the economy…. There’s clearly something going on…. And the question is, what is going on? What does this signal? Is this a return of industrial policy?”

Steven Vogel was the discussant. “Not too surprisingly, I agree with just about everything Peter said,” Vogel said. “I really like the way that he systematically went through what the Biden administration is doing, what’s new, what’s not new. And I also love the way that he addressed some of the core like analytical issues of mission, implementation, and accountability.”

Watch the video of the talk and discussion above or on YouTube.