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Producing Prosperity: Why America Needs a Manufacturing Renaissance by Willy Shih, Gary Pisano

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CHAPTER 5

The Rise and Decline of the American Industrial Commons

Three forces play a role in the rise and decline of an industrial commons: government policies (e.g., funding for research), corporate strategies and management decisions (e.g., R&D investment, location decisions), and exogenous circumstances (e.g., wars, the size of the national market). This chapter examines how these forces have interacted to drive the rise of the American industrial commons and then contributed to its decline. Our goal is not to provide an encyclopedic history; rather, it is to provide a context for the prescriptions we offer in chapters 6 and 7.

The Rise

As noted in chapter 3, the first American industrial commons—that associated with mass production—had ...

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