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Good Jobs and the Cutting Edge: The U.S. Machine Tool Industry and Sustainable Prosperity


  • Robert Forrant

    (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute)


A principal focus of the paper is a comparative analysis of the development of computer numerically controlled machine tools in the U.S. and Japan. Japan's ability to wrest global machine tool preeminence from the U.S. grew out of its successful development of this technology. The first section of the paper contains a brief history of the industry and documents the decline of production and employment after 1970. Section two describes the industry's failure to resolve the problems caused by extreme new order cyclicality. Section three reviews the history of numerical control machine tool development in the U.S. and Japan. In section four and the conclusion various reasons for the industry's collapse are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Forrant, 1997. "Good Jobs and the Cutting Edge: The U.S. Machine Tool Industry and Sustainable Prosperity," Macroeconomics 9712008, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:9712008 Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on PostScript; pages: 31; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ghosh, Atish R & Masson, Paul R, 1991. "Model Uncertainty, Learning, and the Gains from Coordination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 465-479, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chris Tilly & Michael Handel, 1998. "The Diagnostic Imaging Equipment Industry: What Prognosis for Good Jobs?," Macroeconomics 9805002, EconWPA.
    2. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:6:p:1253-1267 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics


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