The share of business within the nationwide wealth created annually fell in France from 12.three% in 2008 to 10.9% and 2018 (credit score: JonKline / Pixabay)
Considerations in regards to the deindustrialization of France have resurfaced with the well being disaster. Whereas our industrial capacities seem like notoriously inadequate to fulfill the demand for private protecting gear, medicine and vaccines, Lionel Fontagné estimates the attainable technological rebound and particulars the situations.
The share of business within the nationwide wealth created annually fell in France from 12.three% in 2008 to 10.9% and 2018. In the UK, this share is precisely 10% on each dates. In relative phrases, France’s dropout is akin to that of Spain, however a lot larger than that of Italy. However above all, and that is well-known, Germany resisted higher, rising the share of its business to double that of France. In comparison with Germany or the UK, French business has due to this fact by no means actually recovered following the good monetary disaster of 2008.
If we undertake a longer-term perspective, the mechanisms at work in France have been frequent to all superior nations: ever extra business in quantity, with ever much less industrial employment and due to this fact productiveness in sturdy improve making it attainable to distribute extra earnings (due to this fact to create large jobs within the providers) and to decrease costs. This wonderful dynamic – producing extra with much less labor in factories to promote for much less – has stalled in France for lack of innovation.
On the similar time, the truth of business has modified dramatically, shifting us away from the classical definition of the manufacturing of fabric items for the market. Whether it is modern in France to deride Serge Tchuruk’s “Fabless” justifying the sinking of the economic group of which he was in cost twenty years in the past, this shift in the direction of providers has additionally been capable of accompany nice industrial successes. The smartphone in your pocket, if it was designed in California, is an efficient illustration of this. It’s not only a tangible good, however the affiliation of various technical options with an intangible dimension (patents), equivalent to electrical energy storage, data processing, web, contact screens, or miniaturization of the antennas, with a variety of providers: these of your operator, your financial institution, your favourite airline, the applying retailer, the paid streaming service to which you’ve subscribed.
Lack of innovation and risk-taking
In america, the statistical idea of “Factoryless Good Producers” has thus emerged to group collectively producers labeled in service actions (equivalent to wholesale commerce) and designing merchandise, taking the associated financial threat, controlling your entire provide chain. worth and guaranteeing distribution. It’s estimated that there’s a potential for about one million industrial jobs recorded within the providers in america.
We should due to this fact try an financial, relatively than statistical, definition of business: it’s a matter of offering customers and different producers with options that meet new wants by combining materials items and providers. The equation for fulfillment is an concept, coupled with financial risk-taking, with a big upfront stake and a big run to amortize these up-front prices. This various definition is beneficial for tracing the outlines of an industrial coverage aimed toward eradicating obstacles which will hinder the event of latest actions. It suggests a easy criterion, that of “market failure”: the “invisible hand” of the market alone can’t at all times direct assets in the direction of these new actions.
As early as 2004, in a report for the Financial Evaluation Council, we wrote with Jean-Hervé Lorenzi in regards to the biotechnologies that they “represent [l’un] areas of exercise which might be significantly illustrative of the potential threat of substance loss within the business. (…), it’s extremely possible that the sample which led to the domination of the American semiconductor business over the interval 1970-1985 might be reproduced in biotechnologies ”. The analysis that we made seventeen years in a while French deindustrialisation – an absence of innovation and risk-taking – was already established. What has occurred within the meantime? It’s modern in Paris to make Brussels guidelines answerable for a sure lack of commercial ambition. However Berlin and London have been topic to the identical guidelines. And above all, the foundations are now not a brake on ambition since … 2014.
The answer has a reputation: Vital Tasks of Frequent European Curiosity (IIECP), the primary wave of which spanned the interval 2014-20. The thought of this gadget is to outline the standards of compatibility between Inner Market (perceive: competitors) and State support. Microprocessors in 2016 or batteries in September 2019 benefited from this. The brand new European Fee can be making this technique certainly one of its priorities. The carbon-free hydrogen mission, or that of latest technology digital nanchips, initiatives wherein France is concerned, have been launched in 2020.
The instruments and doctrine are actually out there. What about ambition? A PIIEC regarding innovation within the well being sector has simply been launched in March 2021, “particularly by way of bio-production (…) [et] for in vitro diagnostic use ”. We are able to guess that ambition is discovered.
Lionel Fontagné, member of the Circle of Economists, professor on the Paris College of Economics
This textual content is an extract from the final Cahier revealed by the Cercle des economistes “Is France nonetheless within the technological race?” “. This guide brings collectively the analyzes of 19 consultants on the challenges and the way forward for tech in France. With contributions from: François Barrault, Véronique Bellon-Maurel, Françoise Benhamou, Bernard Bigot, Anne Bouverot, Elie Cohen, Mathieu Duchâtel, Lionel Fontagné, André Loesekrug-Pietri, Jean-Hervé Lorenzi, Denis Lucquin, Valérie Mignon, Mathieu Noguès, Tanya Perelmuter, Isabelle Piot-Lepetit, Erwann Tison, Alain Trannoy, Man Turquet de Beauregard and Claire Waysand. This e-book could be downloaded freed from cost from the web site of lecercledeseconomistes.fr