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The Transition to Flexible Specialisation in the U.S. Film Industry: External Economies, the Division of Labour, and the Crossing of Industrial Divides

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  • Storper, Michael

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that mass-production methods are losing their dominance in the advanced industrial economies and that various forms of flexible production organization are on the rise. The transition from mass-production organization to flexible specialization is analyzed in detail through a case study of the film industry, where it is shown that a system of production once based on product standardization, high levels of vertical integration, and stable oligopolistic market structures has, after a period of vertical disintegration, given way to a production system based on a deep division of labor between firms and high levels of flexibility in both product design and output levels. The transition may be the result of increasing external economies of scale stemming from the development of the industry's social division of labor. Copyright 1989 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (1989)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 273-305

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:13:y:1989:i:2:p:273-305

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Cited by:
  1. Jurgen Essletzbichler, 2003. "From Mass Production to Flexible Specialization: The Sectoral and Geographical Extent of Contract Work in US Manufacturing, 1963-1997," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(8), pages 753-771.
  2. Steven Albert, 1998. "Movie Stars and the Distribution of Financially Successful Films in the Motion Picture Industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 249-270, December.
  3. Walter Santagata, 2002. "Cultural districts, property rights, and sustainable economic growth," Others 0210004, EconWPA.
  4. Martin T. W. Rosenfeld & Christoph Hornych, 2008. "Is There a Way for Old Industrial Districts to Become Attractive for Cultural Industry? The Case of Media Businesses in Halle (Saale), Germany," IWH Discussion Papers 15, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Michael Schwartz & Christoph Hornych, 2008. "Technologie- und Gründerzentren im Lichte von Diversifizierung versus Spezialisierung," IWH Discussion Papers 7, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Xavier Castañer & Lorenzo Campos, 2002. "The Determinants of Artistic Innovation: Bringing in the Role of Organizations," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 29-52, February.
  7. Scott, Allen J., 2002. "A new map of Hollywood and the world," ERSA conference papers ersa02p521, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Björn Frank, 2003. "Location Decisions in a Changing Labour Market Environment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 380, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  9. Santagata Walter, 2002. "Cultural districts, property rights and sustainable economic growth," EBLA Working Papers 200201, University of Turin.
  10. Peter Leisink, 2000. "Multimedia Industry Networks and Regional Economic Development Policies: The Case of the Netherlands," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 69(4), pages 574-586.
  11. Benner, Maximilian, 2009. "What do we know about clusters? In search of effective cluster policies," MPRA Paper 43848, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
  12. Fiorenza Belussi & Silvia Rita Sedita, 2006. "The Management of Events in the Veneto Performing Music Cluster: Bridging Latent and Permanent Organisations," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0028, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  13. Joris Ebbers & Nachoem Wijnberg, 2012. "The effects of having more than one good reputation on distributor investments in the film industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 227-248, August.
  14. Lombardi, Mauro, 2003. "The evolution of local production systems: the emergence of the "invisible mind" and the evolutionary pressures towards more visible "minds"," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1443-1462, September.

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