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The Evolution of Manufacturing Technology and its Impact on Industrial Structure: An International Study

Author

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  • Carlsson, Bo

    (Case Western Reserve University)

Abstract

This paper shows that plant and firm size in manufacturing, and especially in engineering industry, in several Western industrial countries has declined since the early 1970s. Two hypotheses explaining the decline are advanced. One is "de-glomeration" or specialization: the divestiture of non-core businesses in order to free up scarce resources (particularly management time) to defend and nurture core business activities. The second hypothesis is that the emergence of new computer-based technology has improved the quality and productivity of small and medium scale production relative to standardized mass-production techniques which dominated previously.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Bo, 1988. "The Evolution of Manufacturing Technology and its Impact on Industrial Structure: An International Study," Working Paper Series 203, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0203
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    File URL: http://www.ifn.se/wfiles/wp/wp203.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mills, David E & Schumann, Laurence, 1985. "Industry Structure with Fluctuating Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 758-767, September.
    2. Shepherd, William G, 1982. "Causes of Increased Competition in the U.S. Economy, 1939-1980," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(4), pages 613-626, November.
    3. Ravenscraft, David J & Scherer, F M, 1987. "Life after Takeover," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 147-156, December.
    4. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1987. "Innovation, Market Structure, and Firm Size," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 567-574, November.
    5. Carlsson, Bo, 1984. "The development and use of machine tools in historical perspective," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 91-114, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gamal Atallah, 2002. "Production Technology, Information Technology, and Vertical Integration Under Asymmetric Information," Working Papers 0203EClassification-JEL: , University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Manufacturing; specialisation; firm scope; technological progress;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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