The U.S. Man-Made Fiber Industry: Its Structure and Organization since 1948

By David I. Goldenberg | Go to book overview

2
The Industry's Background
This book tests two interconnected sets of hypotheses. The structuralist theory of oligopolistic industrial organization represents the more theoretical set of ideas for empirical reassessment. Jesse W. Markham's book [ 1952] provides the second group of hypotheses for reevaluation. Highlights of these points follow.The structuralist theory propounds an objective, four-phase sequence to analyze the economic condition of an industry and its component firms in a market environment [ Scherer, 4]. An industry's economic performance presumably results from its constituent firms' market conduct as conditioned by that industry's market structure, which, in turn, depends on the circumstances underlying the supply of and demand for that industry's output and its inputs. However, the structuralist theory quickly becomes complex and dynamic as market conduct provides feedback influencing both market structure and the basic circumstances of supply and demand. Changes in market structure may also impinge on the underpinnings of supply and demand. This effort aims to analyze the U.S. man-made fibers industry that evolved out of Markham's "rayon industry" in a way that permits testing some of Markham's more notable hypotheses and others. Markham's four key hypotheses merit recapitulation now; others will be cited later.
1. The cross-elasticities of rayon, acetate, other new man-made fibers and even cotton are high over a long-period [ Markham, 1].
2. Prices of rayon producers oscillate between the extremes of a monopoly price and a competitive one in a fairly regular manner during each economic fluctuation [ Markham, 2].
3. Any monopoly powers derived from a pattern of strong price leadership and entry barriers in the rayon industry are highly constrained by that industry's operation in a larger market context wherein natural fibers experience a declining secular trend and a supply-induced, erratic variation in output and price [ Markham, 2-3].

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The U.S. Man-Made Fiber Industry: Its Structure and Organization since 1948
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Exhibits ix
  • 1 - Introduction and General Summary 1
  • 2 - The Industry's Background 7
  • 3 - Conditions of Supply and Demand 27
  • 4 - U.S. Man-Made Fibers Industries' Structures 65
  • 5 - Structural Determinants 79
  • 6 - Price Competition 107
  • 7 - Nonprice Rivalry 129
  • 8 - Performance 147
  • Appendices 165
  • Bibliography 257
  • Index 261
  • About the Author 283
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