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How to win Schumpeterian Competition. Technological Transfers in the German Plastics Industry from the 1930s to the 1970s


  • Streb, J.


Introducing the concept of innovation capital we will analyse conditions under which a national industry is able to succeed in international Schumpeterian competition. Then we will discuss the significance of this concept for the economic development of the German plastics industry from the 1930s to the 1970s. Using a repeated game model of technological cooperation we will especially focus on technological transfers from chemical firms to plastics fabricators. We will deploy both a microeconomic approach when viewing product innovations transferred by the so-called Kunststoffrohstoffabteilung (KURO) of chemical firm BASF, and a macroeconomic approach when looking at the development of total factor productivity in the German plastics fabricating industry. It will turn out that we can distinguish three subperiods with respect to technological cooperation in the German plastics industry: the beginning in the period of National Socialist dictatorship and post war reconstruction, the developing in the time of the West German economic miracle, and the ending in the decade of the two oil price shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Streb, J., 2000. "How to win Schumpeterian Competition. Technological Transfers in the German Plastics Industry from the 1930s to the 1970s," Papers 811, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:yalegr:811

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
    2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    3. N/A, 1963. "The Plastics Industry: a Comparative Study of Research and Innovation," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 26(1), pages 22-49, November.
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    9. Fudenberg, Drew & Gilbert, Richard & Stiglitz, Joseph & Tirole, Jean, 1983. "Preemption, leapfrogging and competition in patent races," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-31, June.
    10. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, January.
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    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • N64 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives


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