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Competition and Long-run Productivity Growth in the UK and US Tobacco Industries, 1879-1939


  • Eric W. Zitzewitz

    () (Stanford Graduate School of Business, California, USA)


The UK and US tobacco industries provide a particularly clean place to examine the impact of changes in market structure on firm conduct and productivity in a rapidly innovating industry. Although each industry had roughly equal access to new manufacturing technologies, the industries were monopolized at different times. The US lost an early productivity lead after the formation of the Tobacco Trust in 1890, but regained it after the UK industry merged to monopoly in 1902 and the Trust was broken up in 1911. Supplementary evidence suggests that technological innovation and consolidation of production were more rapid during competitive periods. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric W. Zitzewitz, 2003. "Competition and Long-run Productivity Growth in the UK and US Tobacco Industries, 1879-1939," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 1-33, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:51:y:2003:i:1:p:1-33

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Karlsson, Tobias, 2012. "Workforce Reductions in Theory and Practice: The Swedish Tobacco Monopoly in the 1920s," MPRA Paper 39235, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Hüschelrath, Kai, 2008. "Is it Worth all the Trouble? The Costs and Benefits of Antitrust Enforcement," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-107, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Jonathan B. Baker, 2003. "The Case for Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 27-50, Fall.

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