Working Paper Series
The Evolution of Manufacturing Technology and its Impact on Industrial Structure: An International Study
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.
Keywords: Manufacturing; specialisation; firm scope; technological progress; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: L25; L60; O33; (follow links to similar papers)
46 pages, December 1988
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