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The Sources of Increased Efficiency: A Study of DuPont Rayon Plants

Author

Listed:
  • Samuel Hollander

    () (Ben-Gurion University)

Abstract

An extraordinary opportunity offered by the Du Pont Company gave Professor Hollander free access both to all detailed cost and much investment data related to rayon manufacture at a number of plants, covering a period of thirty years and to a wide range of informed personnel and officers. These data enabled Professor Hollander to make an unprecedented study of a large industrial firm for the purpose of measuring the contribution of various sources of improvement to increased efficiency. From the mass of information available, he has selected sound technical details and concepts, excluded all irrelevant material, and presented a carefully organized case study showing how technical change accounts for a very high proportion of the increases in productivity. Specifically, this information includes descriptions of the contributions of various types of technical change to production cost reductions, quantitative estimates of the contributions of technical change and economies of scale to increased efficiency, and analyses of the relation between technical change and investment and of the sources of new technology. The microeconomic approach is related to certain macrostudies of productivity increase, and several policy implications are drawn. This study should be of great interest to a wide audience including economists, economic historians, and technologists. All those concerned with the problems of economic growth, industrial structure, patent protection, technical invention, research and development, and the general progress of civilian industrial technology will find this book a valuable addition to their libraries.

Suggested Citation

  • Samuel Hollander, 1965. "The Sources of Increased Efficiency: A Study of DuPont Rayon Plants," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026258235x, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:026258235x
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    3. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
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    5. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    6. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    7. Uzawa, H, 1969. "Time Preference and the Penrose Effect in a Two-Class Model of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 628-652, Part II, .
    8. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1987. "Tariffs, Employment and the Current Account: Real Wage Resistance and the Macroeconomics of Protectionism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 691-706, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    dupont company; rayon plants; industrial technology; patent protection; technical invention;

    JEL classification:

    • L69 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Other

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