Robert T. Averitt

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Robert T. Averitt (born c. 1936) is an American economist, and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Smith College, known for his 1968 book The Dual Economy.



The Dual Economy, 1968


Robert T. Averitt. The Dual Economy. W.W. Norton, 1968

  • Center firms differ from periphery firms in terms of economic size, organizational structure, industrial location, factor endowment, time perspective, and market concentration.
    • p. 1
  • The new economy [or "center economy"] is composed of firms large in size and influence. Its organizations are corporate and bureaucratic; its production processes are vertically integrated through ownership and control of critical raw material suppliers and product distributors; its activities are diversified into many industries, regions, and nations... Firms in the large economy serve national and international markets, using technologically progressive systems of production and distribution…
    • p. 7
  • The other economy [or "periphery economy"] is populated by relatively small firms. These enterprises are the ones usually dominated by a single individual or family. The firm's sales are realized in restricted markets. Profits and retained ... Techniques of production and marketing are rarely as up to date as those in the center.
    • p. 7
  • [[The largest corporations] present a spongy target to possible attacks by environmental enemies. Their strongest protection against future threat comes from having successfully met past threats. When the demand for a major commodity falters, center firms can concentrate their energies on other products while experimenting with new lines. When a new technology portends revolutionary potential for home industries, center firms use their financial and technical resources to embrace it. If raw material prices began to rise, center firms can integrate backward, and supply themselves. When rising labor costs pose a substantial threat, automation, cybernation or self-service may provide long-run relief, depending on the industry. Expensive production labor must now contend with easily financed capital substitution in industries where center firms dwell.
    • p. 16 ; As cited in Howard E. Aldrich (2008), Organizations and Environments, p. 155

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