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The Four 'Worlds' of Contemporary Industry


  • Salais, Robert
  • Storper, Michael


The authors propose to endogenize industrial diversity by beginning with the product, defined in terms of its qualities for the user: specialized, standardized, dedicated, generic. For each type of product, there is a coherent possible combination of product dualities, production technologies and markets. These coherent combinations can only come about when coherent mutual expectations--conventions--are formed between actors in the production system in terms of resource qualities, quantities, and their economic equivalents. The theoretical problem of diversity is redefined as one of collective action: the coherence of conventions of groups of actors helps explain what they do in market economies and how they do it. Copyright 1992 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Salais, Robert & Storper, Michael, 1992. "The Four 'Worlds' of Contemporary Industry," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 169-193, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:16:y:1992:i:2:p:169-93

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    Cited by:

    1. Hofmann, Jeanette, 1993. "Implizite Theorien in der Politik: Interpretationsprobleme regionaler Technologiepolitik," EconStor Books, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, volume 127, number 112241.
    2. Dierkes, Meinolf & Marz, Lutz, 1998. "Wissensmanagement und Zukunft: Orientierungsnöte, Erwartungsfallen und 4D-Strategie," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Organisation and Technology FS II 98-102, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    3. repec:uae:wpaper:0003 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jagd, Søren, 2004. "Laurent Thévenot and the french convention school: A short introduction," economic sociology_the european electronic newsletter, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, vol. 5(3), pages 2-9.
    5. Bellandi, Marco, 2000. "Local Development, Big Firms And Social Capital," ERSA conference papers ersa00p380, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Heidi Bjønnes Larsen, 2014. "Governance, Quality Conventions, and Product Innovation in a Value Chain: The Case of the Spanish Salted Fish Market," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 412-429, September.
    7. Deron Ferguson, 2000. "Localización en la economía servindustrial: el caso español de subcontratación electrónica," Working Papers 03/00, Instituto Universitario de Análisis Económico y Social.
    8. Simona D'Amico & Anna Irene De Luca & Giovanni Gulisano, 2013. "Circuiti di produzione e consumo "alternativi" per l’organizzazione del sistema agro-alimentare calabrese: un quadro introduttivo," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 15(2), pages 73-96.
    9. Ingrid Groessl & Nadine Levratto, 2004. "Problems of Evaluating Small Firms’ Quality as a Reason for Unfavourable Loan Conditions," Finance 0406014, EconWPA.
    10. Christian Imdorf, 2012. "Zu jung oder zu alt für eine Lehre? Altersdiskriminierung bei der Ausbildungsplatzvergabe," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 45(1), pages 79-98, March.
    11. Salais, Robert & Diaz-Bone, Rainer, 2008. "Robert Salais answers five questions about economic sociology: Economics of convention - its origins, contributions and transdisciplinary perspectives: Robert Salais interviewed by Rainer Diaz-Bone," economic sociology_the european electronic newsletter, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, vol. 9(2), pages 16-23.
    12. Robert Salais, 2001. "A presentation of the French “économie des conventions”. Application to labour issues," Post-Print halshs-00430648, HAL.
    13. Cristiano Antonelli, 2000. "Collective Knowledge Communication and Innovation: The Evidence of Technological Districts," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(6), pages 535-547.
    14. Roy, Satyaki, 2009. "Footwear Cluster in Kolkata: A Case of Self-Exploitative Fragmentation," MPRA Paper 23468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Ann Hodgkinson & Chris Nyland & Simon Pomfret, 2001. "The Determination of Location in New South Wales," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 39-55.
    16. Karijn Bonne & Wim Verbeke, 2008. "Religious values informing halal meat production and the control and delivery of halal credence quality," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(1), pages 35-47, January.
    17. Yoguel, Gabriel, 1996. "Estrategias de cooperación empresarial de las PYMEs argentinas y brasileñas a principios de los noventa," Series Históricas 70, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

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