A Cinderella Story: The Early Evolution of the American Tractor Industry
The arrival of motorization, from before the beginning of the twentieth century, has changed agricultural production and the whole economy by dramatically reducing work force and improving productivity. Yet the negligence of research on the history of farm mechanization is surprising given that the history of economic growth has been strongly affected by farm mechanization. In this paper we study the evolution of a major agricultural input, and the cause for much of farm development, the farm tractor. We explore the history of the early tractors and the mechanism behind the birth of new technologies that pushed agriculture forward. We use a unique data set of the United States tractor industry through which we analyse the evolution of the tractor industry, its major innovations and identify fundamental breakthroughs. We believe that our paper is the first where the history of the development of tractors is presented in the fundamental context of innovation, where we use the industry life cycle and technology evolution.
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- Suarez, Fernando F., 2004. "Battles for technological dominance: an integrative framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 271-286, March.
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