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Flexible Technology and Industrial Structure in the U.S


  • Carlsson, Bo
  • Taymaz, Erol


This paper analyzes the development over the postwar period of output, employment, and the number of plants in manufacturing in the United States. It is shown that the distribution of flexible technology in the form of machine tools (NCMTs) shifted markedly toward small plants during the 1980s. It is found that the probability of adoption and the penetration rate of NCMTs are higher in large than in small plants, even though the number of NCMTs per worker is much higher in small plants. This apparent paradox is explained. It is also suggested that the shift of output towards smaller plants is correlated with the increased use of flexible technology, and that this reflects changes in the division of labor among plants of various sizes as well as changes in the composition and organization of production in large plants. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Bo & Taymaz, Erol, 1994. "Flexible Technology and Industrial Structure in the U.S," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 193-209, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:6:y:1994:i:3:p:193-209

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi, 2006. "Technologies as problem-solving procedures and technologies as input--output relations: some perspectives on the theory of production," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 173-202, February.
    8. Conte, Andrea & Vivarelli, Marco, 2005. "One or Many Knowledge Production Functions? Mapping Innovative Activity Using Microdata," IZA Discussion Papers 1878, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    12. Jae Kang & Almas Heshmati, 2008. "Effect of credit guarantee policy on survival and performance of SMEs in Republic of Korea," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 445-462, December.
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    14. Breschi, Stefano & Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 2000. "Technological Regimes and Schumpeterian Patterns of Innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 388-410, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Audretsch, David B. & van Leeuwen, George & Menkveld, Bert & Thurik, Roy, 2001. "Market dynamics in the Netherlands: Competition policy and the role of small firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 795-821, April.
    2. Roy Thurik & Sander Wennekers & Ingrid Verheul & David Audretsch, 2001. "An eclectic theory of entrepreneurship: policies, institutions and culture," Scales Research Reports H200012, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    3. David Audretsch & Roy Thurik, 2004. "A Model of the Entrepreneurial Economy," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-12, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    4. Bellou, Victoria, 2008. "Exploring civic virtue and turnover intention during organizational changes," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(7), pages 778-789, July.
    5. Gerald A. McDermott, 2000. "Network Restructuring and Firm Creation in East-Central Europe: A Public-Private Venture," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 361, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    6. Guven Sak & Erol Taymaz, 2004. "How Flexible are Small Firms? An Analysis on the Determinants of Flexibility," Working Papers 0416, Economic Research Forum, revised 08 May 2004.

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