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John M. Clark's Concept of Too Strong Competition: The U.S. Cement Industry as a Possible Case


  • Gerald Aranoff

    (Jerusalem College of Technology)


The principal hypothesis of this paper is that the U.S. cement industry for most of the sixties and seventies can serve as an instance of John M. Clark's concept of too strong competition. This paper argues that the mainstream academic view--notably that of S. M. Loescher and F. M. Scherer--mischaracterizes the cement industry of 1909-46 due to methodological and data errors. The paper presents evidence that during periods of capacity surplus in the sixties and early seventies cement profit margins were inadequate, despite generally good economic years, and this contributed to reduced investment in the seventies and eighties and to a severe capacity shortages during 1972-73 and 1978-79.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerald Aranoff, 1991. "John M. Clark's Concept of Too Strong Competition: The U.S. Cement Industry as a Possible Case," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 45-60, Jan-Mar.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:17:y:1991:i:1:p:45-60

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George Terborgh, 1940. "The problem of manufacturing capacity," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 639-646.
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    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L61 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics


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