Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

From Mass Production to Flexible Specialization: The Sectoral and Geographical Extent of Contract Work in US Manufacturing, 1963-1997

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jurgen Essletzbichler
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    E SSLETZBICHLER J. (2003) From mass production to flexible specialization: the sectoral and geographical extent of contract work in US manufacturing, 1963-1997, Reg. Studies 37 , 753-771. Over the last two decades much work in economic geography focused on a fundamental reorganization of capitalist production summarized as shift from Fordist mass production to flexible specialization. Complementing this shift to flexible forms of production is the revival of interest in Marshallian industrial districts characterized by geographically localized and tightly linked networks of small firms. Many a claim was based on anecdotal evidence in selected industries and regions. In order to strengthen the importance of these results, it is necessary to provide comprehensive empirical evidence across a broad range of sectors and regions. This paper traces the key developments in economic geography and examines empirically the extent of flexible specialization in US manufacturing. More specifically the paper focuses on one aspect of this shift and investigates the increase in contract work across all US manufacturing sectors and regions between 1963 and 1997. Employing plant level data for US manufacturing industries, this paper emphasizes the significance of the shift to flexible specialization supported by an increase in the use of contract work across a vast majority of manufacturing sectors, states and metropolitan areas. The paper also demonstrates that pronounced industrial differences prevail and that high contract work ratios explain metropolitan differences in productivity in some but not all sectors. E SSLETZBICHLER J. (2003) De la fabrication en serie a la specialisation flexible: les portees sectorielle et geographique de la prestation de service dans l'industrie aux E-U de 1963 a 1997, Reg. Studies 37 , 753- 771. Depuis deux decennies, la geographie economique a porte dans une large mesure sur une restructuration fondamentale du systeme capitalistique. En bref, il s'agissait d'un deplacement de la fabrication en serie du type Fordiste a la specialisation flexible. Allant de pair avec ce deplacement est un regain de l'interet pour les districts industriels selon Marshall et qui se caracte risent par des reseaux de petites entreprises localisees sur le plan geographique et bien relies. On a affirme de nombreuses choses selon des sources non confirmees provenant des industries et des regions selectionnees. Afin de consolider l'importance de ces resultats, il faut fournir des preuves empiriques plus de taillees a travers un eventail de secteurs et de regions large. Cet article cherche a esquisser les developpements cles dans le domaine de la geographie economique et a examiner de facon empirique la portee de la specialisation flexible dans l'industrie aux E-U. Plus particulierement, cet article porte sur un aspect de ce deplacement et examine la croissance de la prestation de service a travers tous les secteurs industriels et toutes les regions aux E- U entre 1963 et 1997. A partir des donnees aupres des e tablissements industriels aux E-U, cet article souligne l'importance du deplacement pour la specialisation flexible, soutenu par un accroissement de la prestation de service a travers la plupart des secteurs industriels, des etats et des zones metropolitaines. Cet article demontre aussi que des ecarts industriels non-negligeables persistent et que l'importance de la prestation de service explique les ecarts de productivite metropolitains dans quelques-uns des secteurs. E SSLETZBICHLER J. (2003) Von Massenproduktion zu flexibler Spezialisierung: das sektorale und geographische Ausmass von Kontraktarbeit in der herstellen Industrie der USA im Zeitraum 1963-1997, Reg. Studies 37 , 753-771. Im Laufe der letzten zwanzig Jahre haben sich in der Wirtschafts-geographie viele Arbeiten mit der grundlegenden Neuorganisation kapitalistischer Produktion beschaftigt, die unter dem Begriff der Umstellung von Fordscher Massenproduktion auf flexible Spezialisierung zusammengefasst wird. Diese Umstellung auf flexible Formen der Produktion geht Hand in Hand mit einem wieder auflebenden Interesse an Marshallschen Industriegebieten, das hauptsachlich von geographisch begrenzten und eng vernetzten Kleinfirmen bestimmt wird. Viele der dafur erhobenen Anspruche beruhten auf anekdotenhaften Beweisen in ausgewahlten Industrien und Gebieten. Um die Bedeutung dieser Ergebnisse zu unterstreichen, ist es notig, umfassende empirische Beweise eines weit gefacherten Bereichs von Sektoren und Regionen anzufuhren. Dieser Aufsatz verfolgt die wichtigsten Entwicklungen in der Wirtschaftsgeographie und untersucht empirisch das Ausmass flexibler Spezialisierung in der herstellenden Industrie der US. Der Aufsatz richtet sein Augenmerk ganz besonders auf einen bestimmten Aspekt dieser Umstellung, in dem er die Zunahme von Kontraktauftragen in allen sektoren der herstellenden Industrie der US im Zeitraum 1963-1997 untersucht. Mit Hilfe von Daten auf Fabrikebene fur herstellende Industrien in den USA betont der Aufsatz die Bedeutung der Umstellung auf flexible Spezialisierung, die durch Zunahme des Einsatzes von Kontraktarbeit in den meisten herstellenden Sektoren, Staaten und Grossstadtgebieten bestatigt wird. Daruberhinaus zeigt der Aufsatz, dass ausgesprochene industrielle Unterschiede vorherrschen, und dass hohe Kontraktauftragsraten gross stadtisch Produktionsunterschiede in einigen, doch nicht allen Sektoren erkla ren.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0034340032000128695
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 8 ()
    Pages: 753-771

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:37:y:2003:i:8:p:753-771

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CRES20

    Order Information:
    Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CRES20

    Related research

    Keywords: Flexible Specialization; Subcontracting; Contract Work; Us Manufacturing; Longitudinal; Research Database;

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-37, May.
    2. Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Gambardella, Alfonso & Saxenian, AnnaLee, 2001. "'Old Economy' Inputs for 'New Economy' Outcomes: Cluster Formation in the New Silicon Valleys," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 835-60, December.
    4. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "The elusive concept of localization economies: towards a knowledge-based theory of spatial clustering," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(3), pages 429-449, March.
    5. Storper, Michael, 1989. "The Transition to Flexible Specialisation in the U.S. Film Industry: External Economies, the Division of Labour, and the Crossing of Industrial Divides," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 273-305, June.
    6. A J Scott & D P Angel, 1987. "The US semiconductor industry: a locational analysis," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 19(7), pages 875-912, July.
    7. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. David L. Rigby & J¸rgen Essletzbichler, 2002. "Agglomeration economies and productivity differences in US cities," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(4), pages 407-432, October.
    9. Scott, Allen J, 2000. "Economic Geography: The Great Half-Century," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(4), pages 483-504, July.
    10. A J Scott, 1990. "The technopoles of Southern California," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 22(12), pages 1575-1605, December.
    11. Susan Christopherson, 2002. "Project work in context: regulatory change and the new geography of media," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(11), pages 2003-2015, November.
    12. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, January.
    13. Russo, Margherita, 1985. "Technical change and the industrial district: The role of interfirm relations in the growth and transformation of ceramic tile production in Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 329-343, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:37:y:2003:i:8:p:753-771. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.