Whitford's research explores the social, political and institutional implications of productive decentralization (outsourcing) in manufacturing industries. He is especially interested in industrial and technology policy, with a particular focus on the ways in which policymakers can and should respond to the highly fragmented production structure that is characteristic of those industries today (i.e. he asks how we should react to the fact that things that used to be made in large factories are now made across many small factories).
In the News
Shows that the traditional justification for industrial policy – the identification of an identifiable market failure – is incomplete. Shows how "network failures" – which are often a more pressing problem insofar as the goal is to foment innovation – can be identified and remedied.