Review of Industrial Organization 16: 417–420, 2000.
Market Dominance: How Firms Gain, Hold, or Lose It and the Impact on Eco-
nomic Performance. David I. Rosenbaum, editor. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger,
This excellent book sparked a minor personal revelation. Industry case studies
can be credited with launching my interest in industrial organization more than
thirty years ago. As a student I was fascinated by Leonard Weiss’ Economics
and American Industry, Walter Adams’ Structure of American Industry, Merton
Peck’s Competition in the Aluminum Industry, and M. G. de Chazeau and A. E.
Kahn’s Integration and Competition in the Petroleum Industry, to name a few good
examples. I stretched my Ph.D. dissertation beyond its theoretical and econometric
core to include case studies on breakfast cereals, soda pop, beer and several other
products because I felt that my hypothesis could not be considered thoroughly
persuasive without supporting evidence of that type.
Why is this collection of case studies revelatory? They are well written, interest-
ing and instructive examples of the genre. They are worthy of inspiring present-day
students. Moreover, they were each composed especially for the book under review,
so they share the common theme of exploring market dominance as it relates to four
important fundamental questions:
1. What are the sources of dominance – efﬁciency, luck, innovation, and/or mono-
2. How is dominance maintained over time – by continued progressiveness and
foresight, or by anticompetitive practices such as price discrimination, tying,
and raising rivals’ costs?
3. Why does dominance frequently dissipate with time – technological change,
corporate lethargy, antitrust action, or foreign import displacement, to name a
4. What are the policy implications that emerge from these ﬁndings?
The ﬁrms covered (and the authors of these studies) are Standard Oil of New
Jersey (Leslie D. Manns), the tobacco oligopolists (Walter Adams and James W.
Brock), Alcoa (Hayley Chouinard and David I. Rosenbaum), Dow (Marvin B.
Lieberman), Kodak (Vrinda Kadiyali), Ford and GM (Lawrence J. White), IBM