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Chemicals and Long-Term Economic Growth: Insights from the Chemical Industry

Ashish Arora (Editor), Ralph Landau (Editor), Nathan Rosenberg (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-471-67379-8
564 pages
April 1998
Chemicals and Long-Term Economic Growth: Insights from the Chemical Industry (047167379X) cover image


A paperback edition of a highly successful hardcover edition, "Chemicals and Long-Term Economic Growth" examines how commercial and technological leadership in the chemical industry has developed over the last century and a half, the forces that powered this shifting leadership, and how economic and management lessons learned can help in creating policies to promote long-term economic health in the industry.
? Addresses the sources of comparative advantage and growth in the chemical industry, focusing on how these sources have varied over time, across countries, and in different industries.
? Discusses the development of new technologies and overall organization of the industry and what we can learn from them.
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Table of Contents


Introduction (A. Arora, et al.).


On the Making of Competitive Advantage: The Develpoment of the Chemical Industries of Britain and Germany Since 1850 (J. Murmann & R. Landau).

Chemicals: A U.S.

Success Story (A. Arora & N. Rosenberg).

The Japanese Puzzle (T. Hikino, et al.).


The Process of Innovation in the Chemical Industry (R. Landau).

The Impact of the Legal System on Innovation (T. Campbell & R. Landau).

Technological Change in Chemicals: The Role of University-Industry Relations (N. Rosenberg).


The Industry Evolves Within a Political, Social, and Public Policy Context: A Breif Look at Britain, Germany, Japan, and the United States (M. Horstmeyer).

Monetary, Fiscal, and Trade Policies in the Development of the Chemical Industry (B. Eichengreen).

Finance and the Chemical Industry (M. Da Rin).

Structure and Performance of the Chemical Industry under Regulation (K. Esteghamat).

Evolution of Industry Structure in the Chemical Industry (A. Arora & A. Gambardella).

The Evolution of Corporate Capability and Corporate Strategy and Structure Within the World's Largest Chemical Firms: The Twentieth Century in Perspective (A. Chandler, et al.).


Connecting Performance and Competitiveness with Finance: A Study of the Chemical Industry (A. Richards).


Conclusions (A. Arora, et al.).

About the Contributors.

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Author Information

ASHISH ARORA, PhD, received his PhD in economics from Stanford University in 1992 and is currently Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Heinz School, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. His research focuses on the economics of technological change, management of technology, and technology policy.

RALPH LANDAU, ScD, was the cofounder, in 1946, and CEO of Halcon-Scientific Design Group, a prominent innovator in the chemical industry. He is a consulting professor of economics at Stanford University and a Research Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School. In 1985, he received the National Medal of Technology. He has also received the Perkin Medal (1981) and the Othmer Medal (1997). He was recently named one of Chemical & Engineering News' Top 75 Contributors to the Chemical Enterprise. He has published numerous works dealing with technology, economic growth, and innovation.

NATHAN ROSENBERG, PhD, Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. Professor, has been Professor of Economics at Stanford University since 1974. His research has dealt primarily with the economics of technological change and the relationships between scientific research and changes in technology. His books include Perspective on Technology, Inside the Black Box, Technology and the Pursuit of Economic Growth (with David Mower), Exploring the Black Box, and How the West Grew Rich (with L. E. Birdzell). In 1996, he was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Prize by the Society for the History of Technology.
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"...you could not hope to improve on a new book edited by Ashish Arora and Ralph Landau, Nathan Rosenberg... 'Chemicals and Long-term Economic Growth' is the latest in a series originating in the Stanford economics department aiming to bridge the gaps between economic theory, economic history and the application of technology." .-The Economist

"The book will be of interest to participants in the industry, economists and economic historians interested in growth, business school faculty and students concerned with corporate strategy, especially the management of technical change, and finally, policy makers who create the legal and political environment within which the industry has developed."-Dale W. Jorgenson, Frederic Eaton Abbe Professor of Economics, Harvard University

"This monograph, edited by three distinguished scholars, reflects a painstakingly thorough and insightful analysis of the global chemical industry. It provides a detailed historical treatment of competitive advantage at the level of the firm in the nation state today. It will be of great value to economic historians and economists concerned with the growth of modern industrial societies. It is must reading for executives and scholars concerned with innovation and competitiveness."-David J. Teece, Director, Institute of Management, Innovation & Organization; Mitsubishi Professor, Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

"The chemical industry will continue to be a leading indicator of economic development in the century ahead. The research and conclusions of Ralph Landau and his colleagues capture the structure, processes, and future of the industry and make (this) book required reading for all who follow the field." -Frank Popoff, Chairman of the Board, The Dow Chemical Company

"Chemistry is known as the 'central science'. Given the magnitude and persuasiveness of the chemical processing industry which underlies all manufacturing, this study of the dynamics of interactions among technology, economics and politics should become 'must reading' for all serious students of industrial developments." -S. Allen Heininger, Past President, American Chemical Society

"The innovativeness of the chemical industry has made it a key player in the development of the modern world economy. Analysis of the industry's long-term growth therefore gives an insight into the interaction between science, technology, and economic progress, as this book demonstrates. At the same time, the analysis offers observations that are of great practical relevance to today's issues.." -Professor Doctor Gottfried Plumpe, Bayer Corporation
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