Competition and innovation in 1950’s Britain
We find little support for the Schumpeterian hypothesis of a positive relationship between market power and innovation in 1950’s Britain even though many economists and policymakers accepted it at the time. Pricefixing agreements were very widespread prior to the 1956 Restrictive Practices Act and they seem to have had adverse effects on costs and productivity. Competition policy appears to have been much too lenient but the productivity problems of British industry at this time are best viewed as arising largely from the difficulties of reaping the benefits of innovation rather than from a failure to innovate per se.
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