This paper presents findings from a study of the cement industries in France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom. Its purpose is to determine, as far as is possible, the extent to which the structure and performance of each industry has been influenced by the control of the market exercised by public auth- orities, by the industries themselves, or by both acting together. The cement industry was chosen for its relative 'simplicity' and because it offers a good sample of different public policy approaches to the regulation of private markets. Although there are numerous major factors complicating inter- national comparison, the industry is simple to analyse because it has a rela- tively homogeneous product derived from very spread-out raw materials and it uses easily acquired technology to the diffusion of which there are no barriers. The different national industries discussed all had a similar history of private regulation of the market for the first half of the 20th century, during which time cartels proliferated, except when they occasionally collapsed under the pressure of price cutting stimulated by excess capacity.
Since the Second World War, however, governments have differed in their approach to market regulation, and the four country studies illustrate a range of different approaches which covers the French experience of strict price control as an instrument ofindustrial policy, the Italian experience of weaker price control, a legal cartelin the U. K.
1. Cement, Its Production and Distribution.- 1.1 The Production Process.- 1.2 Economies of Scale.- 1.3 Energy Consumption.- 1.4 Homogeneity.- 1.5 Transport Costs.- 1.6 International Trade.- 1.7 The Demand for Cement.- 2. A General View of the Cement Industry in Europe.- 2.1 Sizes of the Markets.- 2.2 Concentration.- 2.3 Production.- 2.4 Capacity Utilisation.- 2.5 Pricing Systems and Price Control.- 2.6 Price Movements.- 3. The United Kingdom.- 3.1 Outline of the Industry.- 3.2 Consumption, Production Capacity and Capacity Utilisation.- 3.3 The Cement Price Agreement.- 3.4 Prices, Costs and Price Control.- 3.5 Investment and Technical Innovation.- 3.6 Price Agreement and 'Administered' Competition.- 4. Italy.- 4.1 Outline of the Industry.- 4.2 Production, Capacity and The Process of Industrial Concentration.- 4.3 Technical Progress; capacity utilisation and energy consumption.- 4.4 Price Control and Prices.- 4.5 Performance.- 4.6 Price Control and Competition.- 5. France.- 5.1 Outline of the Industry.- 5.2 Production, Consumption and Capacity Utilisation.- 5.3 Price Control in France.- 5.4 The Process of Industrial Concentration.- 5.5 Investment and Technical Progress.- 5.6 Competition and Public Regulated Oligopoly.- 6. Germany.- 6.1 Outline of the Industry.- 6.2 Production and The Process of Industrial Concentration.- 6.3 Prices and The Pricing System.- 6.4 Technical Innovation and Capacity Utilisation.- 6.5 Performance.- 6.6 Recession and Competition among Different-sized Firms.- Conclusions.- 7.1 The Four Case-Studies.- 7.2 Competition and 'Heroic' Assumptions.- 7.3 General Conclusions.- Price Control Experiences in Industrialized Countries.- Price Control as Counter-inflationary Policy.- Characteristics of Price Control.- Prices Control Experiences.- Italy.- Belgium.- France.- West Germany.- The United Kingdom.- The Netherlands.- Republic of Ireland.- Austria.- Sweden.- Canada.- USA.- Australia.- New Zealand.- Japan.- Experiences with Price Control and the Authority of the State.- Author's Index.- Companies Index.
Series: Studies in Industrial Organization
Number Of Pages: 138
Published: 31st July 1982
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5
Weight (kg): 0.88