Transactions, standardisation and competition: Establishing uniform sizes in the British wire industry c.1880
AbstractWhen science could not provide a solution to transaction problems in the British wire industry c.1880, market groups had to negotiate a business solution. This involved converging towards a 'one-size-fits-all' standard: a process requiring compromises and cooperation between competitive firms, and solving coordination failure through state intervention. This paper demonstrates how different groups held different notions of 'ideal' standards depending on the incentives they faced. Reconciling these differences was an institutional, rather than a technological, process. The paper also analyses why, historically, dominant producers cooperated to set industry standards when faced with an imminent lock-in on 'wrong' standards imposed on the industry.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Business History.
Volume (Year): 51 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/FBSH20
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- Cristopher Spencer & Paul Temple, 2013. "Standards, Learning and Growth in Britain 1901-2009," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0613, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
- Christopher Spencer & Paul Temple, 2012. "Alternative Paths of Learning: Standardisation and Growth in Britain, 1901-2009," Discussion Paper Series 2012_10, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Oct 2012.
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