Oxford’s Contributions to Industrial Economics from the 1920s to the 1980s Chapitre d’ouvrage - Juillet 2021

Lise Arena

Lise Arena, « Oxford’s Contributions to Industrial Economics from the 1920s to the 1980s  », in The Palgrave Companion to Oxford Economics, 2021, pp. 75-100

Abstract

This chapter assesses Oxford’s contributions to the emergence and institutionalisation of industrial economics as an academic discipline. Based on the analysis of primary sources (interviews, unpublished documents, archives, academic journals and teaching programmes), it charts and evaluates the gradual and, at times, conflictual process of the institutionalisation of industrial economics at Oxford from the 1920s to the 1980s. We show that Oxford’s contribution to industrial economics was not attributable to any specific school of thought, as could be argued was the case for Cambridge. This was mainly due to the lack of emblematic figures at Oxford and/or the relative isolation of successive individuals elected to the Drummond Chair. Yet, it is argued that Oxford produced a unified methodological body and a unique approach to industrial economics based on an empirical approach to the firm and to organisations.

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