This book describes and analyzes how seven major high-tech industries evolved in the United States, Japan, and Western Europe. The industries covered are machine tools, organic chemical products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, computers, semiconductors, and software. In each of these industries, firms located in one or a very few countries became the clear technological and commercial leaders. In a number of cases, the locus of leadership changed, sometimes more than once, over the course of the histories studied. The focus of the book is on the key factors that supported the emergence of national leadership in each industry, and the reasons behind the shifts when they occurred. Special attention is given to the national policies that helped to create or sustain industrial leadership.
"The reader will come away from this volume with a strong appreciation for the complexities inherent in the growth and development of industries." Choice "The individual case studies are all good short accounts of industrial change that can be recommended to economic historians and their students. In most cases, the provision of extensive references will also help those who want to research more extensively. The book also offers inspiration for further research." EH.NET, Paul L. Robertson, University of Wollongong