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The rise of the US Portland cement industry and the role of public science

  • David Prentice

    ()

    (School of Economics and Finance, La Trobe University, VIC 3086, Australia)

American Portland cement rose spectacularly during the 1890s from being a niche product to dominating a much larger market. The contributions of innovations, factor endowments and public science—factors highlighted as contributing to the more general American industrialization occurring at the same time—are analyzed. The successful commercialization of the rotary kiln, enabled by abundant supplies of fuels and minerals, played a key role, as did greater demand. Geological surveys, as highlighted by David and Wright, assisted in some states, but an econometric entry model does not demonstrate that they made a systematic significant contribution to the rise.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11698-011-0068-1
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Article provided by Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC) in its journal Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History.

Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 163-192

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Handle: RePEc:afc:cliome:v:6:y:2012:i:2:p:163-192
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.cliometrie.org

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  1. Wright, Gavin, 1990. "The Origins of American Industrial Success, 1879-1940," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 651-68, September.
  2. Slade, Margaret E., 1988. "Grade selection under uncertainty: Least cost last and other anomalies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 189-205, June.
  3. Rosenbaum, David I. & Sukharomana, Supachat, 2001. "Oligopolistic pricing over the deterministic market demand cycle: some evidence from the US Portland cement industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 863-884, May.
  4. David, Paul A, 1990. "The Dynamo and the Computer: An Historical Perspective on the Modern Productivity Paradox," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 355-61, May.
  5. Harley, C. Knick, 1988. "Ocean Freight Rates and Productivity, 1740–1913: The Primacy of Mechanical Invention Reaffirmed," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 48(04), pages 851-876, December.
  6. Puffert, Douglas J., 2000. "The Standardization of Track Gauge on North American Railways, 1830–1890," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(04), pages 933-960, December.
  7. Anderson, Philip & Tushman, Michael L, 2001. "Organizational Environments and Industry Exit: The Effects of Uncertainty, Munificence and Complexity," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(3), pages 675-711, September.
  8. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
  9. Cairns, R. & Lasserre, P., 1985. "Sectoral Supply of Minerals of Varying Quality," Cahiers de recherche 8534, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  10. Gavin Wright, 1999. "Can a Nation Learn? American Technology as a Network Phenomenon," NBER Chapters, in: Learning by Doing in Markets, Firms, and Countries, pages 295-332 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:ltr:wpaper:2006.02 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. David Prentice, 2012. "The rise of the US Portland cement industry and the role of public science," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 6(2), pages 163-192, May.
  13. Douglas A. Irwin, 2003. "Explaining America's Surge in Manufactured Exports, 1880-1913," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 364-376, May.
  14. David Prentice, 2006. "A re-examination of the origins of American industrial success," Working Papers 2006.02, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  15. David Dranove & Anne Gron & Michael J. Mazzeo, 2003. "Differentiation and Competition in HMO Markets," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 433-454, December.
  16. Michael L. Tushman & Lori Rosenkopf, 1996. "Executive Succession, Strategic Reorientation and Performance Growth: A Longitudinal Study in the U.S. Cement Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(7), pages 939-953, July.
  17. David, Paul A & Wright, Gavin, 1997. "Increasing Returns and the Genesis of American Resource Abundance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 203-45, March.
  18. Meyer, David R., 1989. "Midwestern Industrialization and the American Manufacturing Belt in the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 921-937, December.
  19. Thomas, Duncan & Strauss, John & Henriques, Maria-Helena, 1990. "Child survival, height for age and household characteristics in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 197-234, October.
  20. Harry F. Campbell, 1980. "The Effect of Capital Intensity on the Optimal Rate of Extraction of a Mineral Deposit," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(2), pages 349-56, May.
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