The Sugar Institute Learns to Organize Information Exchange
In: Learning by Doing in Markets, Firms, and Countries
This paper describes information exchange under the Sugar Institute, the trade association of U.S. domestic sugar cane refiners, between 1928 and 1936. The Institute collected production and delivery data from the individual firms and returned it to them in aggregated form. Attempts to exchange sales data were stymied by the larger firms. Surprisingly, there is no indication of mis-reporting of statistics by Institute members, although statistics were, at times, withheld. The paper concentrates on the evolution of the Institute. Proposals for successor organizations show that a workable mechanism required greater discretion to the central authority and greater voting rights to the larger firms.
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