Economic maturity and entrepreneurial decline : British iron and steel, 1870-1913

[by] Donald N. McCloskey

<p>It is often alleged that late Victorian businessmen in Britain displayed little of the vigor of their fathers in competition with the new industrial powers of the late nineteenth century, Germany and the United States. This allegation has been the foundation for a great many interpretations of the end of British domination over the world's economic life and of the economic difficulties that Britain has faced subsequently.<p>The British iron and steel industry is taken traditionally as the prime example of entrepreneurial decline. Mr. McCloskey shows, however, that businessmen in the industry performed on most counts as well as their German and American counterparts. The lack of evidence of entrepreneurial failure in the industry casts serious doubt on the importance of the entrepreneurial factor in Britain's relative decline. It suggests, indeed, that the supposed failure was a mere reflex of Britain's early attainment of economic maturity and the contemporaneous drive to maturity of Germany and the United States.<p>McCloskey uses relatively uncomplicated economic tools to establish these points. The central tool is the measurement of total factor productivity in the iron and steel industry in Britain and abroad. It is supplemented by analyses of supply and demand (to remove the influence of slowly growing demand at home from the record of the British industry): of the profitability of adopting the basic open hearth process of steelmaking (to show that the slowness of Britain to adopt it-which has been the keystone of the case for entrepreneurial failure-was economically rational); and of the competitiveness of the industry's markets (to validate use of these simple tools).<p>The book is based on a thorough study of the trade newspapers of the industry, its scientific journals, its statistical annuals, and the many reports of the British government and contemporary observers on its activities. It combines, therefore, the virtues of the "old" and the 'new" economic history. And although the book is historical, its conclusions are relevant to any study of economic growth past or present, in particular to the study of the role of entrepreneurship.<p>This book, a revision of Mr. McCloskey's Ph.D. dissertation, was awarded the David A. Wells Prize for l970-7l. The author is Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Chicago.

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  • 1. The Iron and Steel Industry and the Hypothesis of Entrepreneurial Failure A. The Historiographic Career of the Hypothesis of Failure B. The Quantitative Evidence for Britain as a Whole C. The Relevance of the Experience in Iron and Steel D. Assessing Entrepreneurial Performance in Iron and Steel 2. The Market Structure of the Industry A. Cycles in Monopoly Power from 1870 to 1913 B. Monopoly Power among Regions of the Country C. Competition and the Hypothesis of Failure 3. The Industry's Consumers and the Industry's Growth A. The Slow Growth of Demand B. The Substitution of Steel for Iron 4. The "Most Notable Single Instance" of Entrepreneurial Failure: The Neglect of the Basic Process A. Was the Neglect of Basic Ores Irrational? B. The Shift to Basic Steel 5. Productivity Change, 1870-1913 A. The Material-Intensity and Capital-Lightness of the Industry B. Pig Iron C. Bessemer Steel Rails D. Open Hearth Steel Ship Plates 6. Was Productivity Change More Rapid in the American Industry? A. Productivity Change in American Iron and Steel B. Slow Growth and Antique Technology in Steel 7. American and British Productivity before 1913 A. Levels of Productivity B. How Well British Entrepreneurs Performed Appendices A. Sources for Estimating U.K. Gross National Product and Inputs of Capital and Labor B. The Prices of British Iron and Steel C. The Input and Output Structure of the British Iron and Steel Industry in 1907 D. Sources and Methods for Productivity Measurement in Pig Iron Index

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書名 Economic maturity and entrepreneurial decline : British iron and steel, 1870-1913
著作者等 McCloskey, Donald N
シリーズ名 Harvard economic studies
出版元 Harvard University Press
刊行年月 1973
ページ数 xiv, 157 p.
大きさ 22 cm
ISBN 0674228758
NCID BA0341768X
※クリックでCiNii Booksを表示
言語 英語
出版国 アメリカ合衆国

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