The following list is topical rather than fitting to the schedule. I will choose a subset for you to read that will be appropriate to each class session. I will gradually add to this list; it will end up including a hundred or more items.


Vlasic, Bill (2011). Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America’s Big Three Automakers–GM, Ford, and Chrysler. William Morrow.

Volti, Rudolf (2004). Cars and Culture: The Life Story of a Technology. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Wolfe, Tom (1965). The kandy-kolored tangerine-flake streamline baby. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Womack, James P., Jones, Daniel T. and Roos, Daniel, eds. (2007). The Machine That Changed the World: How Lean Production Revolutionized the Global Car Wars. New York, N.Y.: Gardners Books / Simon & Schuster [original HarperPerennial, 1991].

——— reference books & previous texts

Borg, Kevin (2007). Auto Mechanics: Technology and Expertise in Twentieth Century America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Ingrassia, Paul (2010). Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry’s Road from Glory to Disaster. Random House

Maxton, Graeme P. and Wormald, John (2004). Time for a model change: re-engineering the global automobile industry. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Rattner, Steven (2010). Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Vuic, Jason (2010). The Yugo. Hill & Wang.

——- durable goods

Copeland, Adam (2009). “The Dynamics of Automobile Expenditures.” US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Working Paper.

Copeland, Adam, Dunn, Wendy and Hall, George (2011). “Inventories and the Automobile Market.” RAND Journal of Economics. 42:1, pp. 121-149.

Esteban, Susanna and Shum, Matthew (2007). “Durable-goods oligopoly with secondary markets: the case of automobiles.” Rand Journal of Economics. 38:2, pp. 332-354.

Corrado, Carol, Dunn, Wendy and Otoo, Maria (2003). “Incentives and Prices for Motor Vehicles: What has been Happening in Recent Years?” Industrial Output Section, Division of Research and Statistics. Federal Reserve Board Working Paper.

Government Accountability Office (2010). “Auto Industry: Lessons Learned from Cash for Clunkers Program.” April, GAO-10-486.

Li, Shanjun, Linn, Joshua and Spiller, Elisheba (2010). “Evaluating “Cash-for-Clunkers”: Program Effect on Auto Sales, Jobs and the Environment.” Washington, D.C.: Resources for the Future. August, RFF DP 10-39.

Millner, Edward L. and Hoffer, George E. (1993). “A re-examination of the impact of automotive styling on demand.” Applied Economics. 25:1, pp. 101-110.

Moral, María José and Jaumandreu, Jordi (2007). “Automobile demand, model cycle and age effects.” Spanish Economic Review. 9:193-218.

Pashigian, Bedros Peter, Bowen, Brian and Gould, Eric (1995). “Fashion, Styling, and the Within-Season Decline in Automobile Prices.” Journal of Law and Economics. 38:2, pp. 281-309.

Porter, Robert H. and Sattler, Peter (1999). “Patterns of Trade in the Market for Used Durables: Theory and Evidence.” National Bureau of Economic Research. NBER Working Paper No. 7149.

Purohit, Devavrat (1992). “Exploring the Relationship Between the Markets for New and Used Durable Goods: The Case of Automobiles.” Marketing Science. 11:2, pp. 154-167.

——— economies of scale

Bresnahan, Timothy F. and Ramey, Valerie A. (1993). “Segment Shifts and Capacity Utilization in the U.S. Automobile Industry.” The American Economic Review. 83:2, pp. 213-218.

Hounshell, David A. (1995). “Planning and Executing ‘Automation’ at Ford Motor Company, 1945-65: the Cleveland Engine Plant and Its Consequences.” In: Haruhito Shiomi and Kazuo Wada, eds., Fordism Transformed: The Development of Production Methods in the Automobile Industry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 49-86.

Janovskaia, Alexandra (2008). “German Automotive Multinationals in Central Europe: Enterprise Coalitions for Production.” London School of Economics. Sloan Industry Studies Annual Conference, May.

Muffatto, Moreno and Roveda, Marco (2002). “Product architecture and platforms: a conceptual framework.” International Journal of Technology Management. 24:1, pp. 1-16.

Nieuwenhuis, Paul and Wells, Peter (2007). “The all-steel body as a cornerstone to the foundations of the mass production car industry.” Industrial and Corporate Change. 16:2, pp. 183-211.

Raff, Daniel M. G. (1991). “Making Cars and Making Money in the Interwar Automobile Industry: Economies of Scale and Scope and the Manufacturing behind the Marketing.” Business History Review. 65:4, pp. 721-753.

Rudholm, Niklas (2006). “Mergers and Economies of Scale: Volkswagen AG 1976-2000.” University of Gävle, Sweden. October, Department of Business Administration and Economics Working Paper 4.

Takeishi, Akira (2000). “Knowledge Partitioning in the Inter-Firm Division of Labor: The Case of Automotive Product Development.” Hitotsubashi University. Draft paper, Institute of Innovation Research.

Tolliday, Steven (1995). “Enterprise and State in the German Wirtschaftswunder: Volkswagen and the Automobile Industry, 1939-1962.” Business History Review. 69, pp. 273-350.

— (1984). From the American System to Mass Production, 1800-1932: The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States. Johns Hopkins University Press.

— (1995). “Ford Automates: Technology and Organization in Theory and Practice.” Business and Economic History. 24:59-71 (Fall).

Zeitlin, Jonathan (2000). “Reconciling Automation and Flexibility? Technology and Production in the Postwar British Motor Vehicle Industry.” Enterprise and Society. 1:1, pp. 9-62.

——- entry and exit

Boschma, Ron A. and Wenting, Rik (2004). “The spatial evolution of the British automobile industry.” Utrecht, Netherlands: Utrecht University Urban and Regional Research Centre. August, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography #05.04.

Cantner, Uwe, Dreßler, Kristina and Krüger, Jens J. (2006). “Firm Survival in the German Automobile Industry.” Empirica, 33(1), pp. 49-60.

Carroll, Glenn R. and Hannan, Michael T. (1995). “Automobile Manufacturers.” In: Glenn R. Carroll and Michael T. Hannan, eds., Organizations in Industry: Strategy, Structure and Selection. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 195-214.

Geroski, P. A. and Mazzucato, M. (2001). “Modelling the Dynamics of Industry Populations.” International Journal of Industrial Organization, 19, pp. 1003-1022.

Klepper, Steven (2002). “The Capabilities of New Firms and the Evolution of the US Automobile Industry.” Industrial and Corporate Change, 11(4), pp. 645-666.

––––– (2007). “Disagreements, Spinoffs, and the Evolution of Detroit as the Capital of the U.S. Automobile Industry.” Management Science, 53(4), pp. 616-631.

––––– and Simons, Kenneth L. (1997). “Technological Extinctions of Industrial Firms: An Inquiry into their Nature and Causes.” Industrial and Corporate Change, 6(379-460).

Rosegger, Gerhard and Baird, Robert N. (1987). “Entry and Exit of Makes in the Automobile Industry, 1895-1960: An International Comparison.” Omega, 15(2), pp. 93-102.

——- lemons & asymmetric information (there’s a large literature, this is an unsystematic sample)

Adams, Christopher P; Hosken, Laura; Newberry, Peter W (2011). Vettes and Lemons on eBay. Quantitative Marketing and Economics, 9:2, pp. 109-127.

Akerlof, George A. (1970). The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 84(August), pp. 488-500.

Remarks: classic paper that used used cars as an example.

Bond, Eric W. (1982). A Direct Test of the ‘Lemons’ Model: The Market for Used Pickup Trucks. American Economic Review, 72, pp. 836-840.

Engers, Maxim; Hartmann, Monica and Stern, Steven (2009). Are Lemons Really Hot Potatoes? International Journal of Industrial Organization, 27:2, pp. 250-263.

Genesove, David (1993). Adverse Selection in the Wholesale Used Car Market. Journal of Political Economy, 101:4, pp. 644-665.

Remarks: finds very weak evidence, looking at cars at auction vs cars that dealers sell directly. not car-specific but age-specific. and auctions are 90 seconds per vehicle!!

• more inspection time? but would make market thinner by cutting number of participants perhaps in aggregate but certainly at vehicle level as inability to inspect more than a few would limit number on which could potentially bid. ditto certification, as would require auctions hold in their not-for-sale inventory for a length of time, which as retail prices are higher has a real opportunity cost

Johnson, Justin and Waldman, Michael (2003). Leasing, Lemons, and Buybacks. Rand Journal of Economics, 34:2, pp. 247-265.

—— (2010). Leasing, Lemons, and Moral Hazard. Journal of Law and Economics, May, pp. 307-328.

Lacko, James (1986). Product Quality and Information in the Used Car Market. Washington, DC: Federal Trade Commission. April, Staff Report.

Offer, Avner (2007). “The markup for lemons: quality and uncertainty in American and British used-car markets c. 1953–73.” Oxford Economic Papers 59.S1, pp. i31-i48.

Remarks: scanned very quickly. little evidence of unusual differentiation, esp when little uncertainty about model trends, that is, fashion goods aspects of cars. however fixed transactions costs do affect willingness of dealerships to handle old vehicles. that obviously produces big gaps in pricing.

Sultan, Arif (2010a). Lemons and Certified Pre-owned Cars in the Used Car Market. Applied Economics Letters, 17:1-3, pp. 45-50.

—– (2010b). A model of the used car market with lemons and leasing. Applied Economics, 42:28, pp 3619-3627.

Winand, Emons and George, Sheldon (2002). The Market for Used Cars: A New Test of the Lemons Model. Volkswirschaftliches Institut, Universität Bern. Working Paper 02-02.

Remarks: all 1985 cars registered in Basle during 1985-1991. evidence of sub-average traded car quality and informational asymmetry, but not very large effects. can do hazard model, and combine that with vehicle inspection information as can ask for official one prior to sale. when done, likelihood sale drops. eg, privately sold cars are more likely to have a defect when inspected [but no transactions prices to indicate whether discounted]

——- oligopoly

Akpinar, Murat (2007). “Institutional impacts on industry structure: the block exemption regulation.” Management Research News. 30:3, pp. 173-186.

Bresnahan, Timothy F. (1987). “Competition and Collusion in the American Automobile Industry: The 1955 Price War.” The Journal of Industrial Economics. 35:4, pp. 457-482.

—— and Raff, Daniel M. G. (1991). “Intra-Industry Heterogeneity and the Great Depression: The American Motor Vehicles Industry, 1929-1935.” The Journal of Economic History. 51:2, pp. 317-331.

Crandall, Robert W. (1968). “Vertical integration and the market for repair parts in the United States automobile industry.” Journal of Industrial Economics. 16:2, pp. 212-234.

Gruener, Matthias R., Kamerschen, David R. and Klein, Peter G. (2000). “The Competitive Effects of Advertising in the US Automobile Industry, 1970-94.” International Journal of the Economics of Business. 7:3, pp. 245-261.

Janovskaia, Alexandra (2008). “German Automotive Multinationals in Central Europe: Enterprise Coalitions for Production.” London School of Economics. Sloan Industry Studies Annual Conference, May.

Jaumandreu, Jordi and Moral, María José (2006). “Identifying behaviour in a multiproduct oligopoly: Incumbents reaction to tariffs dismantling.” Munich Personal RePEc Archive. MRPA No. 1248.

Katz, Harold (1970). The Decline of Competition in the Automobile Industry, 1920-1940. New York: Columbia University.

Kwoka, John E. (1998). “Automobiles: Overtaking an Oligopoly.” In: Larry L. Deutsch, ed., Industry Studies. M. E. Sharpe, Chapter 1, pp. 3-27.

Rader, James (1980). Penetrating the U.S. Auto Market: German and Japanese Strategies, 1965-76. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press.

Tedlow, Richard (2001). “‘Like Trying to Screw an Elephant’: Ford vs. GM.” In: Jack Beatty, ed., Colossus: How the Corporation Changed America. New York: Broadway Books, pp. 223-255.

Train, Kenneth E. and Winston, Clifford (2004). “Vehicle Choice Behavior and the Declining Market Share of U.S. Automakers “. Draft paper, Brookings Institution and University of California, Berkeley.

White, Lawrence J. (1998). “The Rise and Fall of Ford and General Motors in the U.S. Automobile Industry: A Tale Twice Told.” In: David I. Rosenbaum, ed., Market dominance: how firms gain, hold, or lose it and the impact on economic performance. Westport, CT: Praeger, Chapter 7.

——- new markets

Shapiro, Helen (1991). “Determinants of Firm Entry into the Brazilian Automobile Manufacturing Industry, 1956-1968.” Business History Review, 65(4 (Winter)), pp. 876-947.

Takacs, Wendy E. (1992). “How import protection affects the Philippines’ motor vehicle industry.” The World Bank. Policy Research Working Paper Series No. 1035.

Wilkins, Mira and Hill, Frank E. (1964). American Business Abroad: Ford on Six Continents. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.

——- distribution

Crandall, Robert W. (1970). “The Decline of the Franchised Dealer in the Automobile Repair Market.” The Journal of Business, 43(1), pp. 19-30.

Dicke, Thomas S. (1992). “From Agent to Dealer: The Ford Motor Company, 1903-1956.” In: Franchising in America: The Development of a Business method, 1840-1980. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, Chapter 2, pp. 48-84.

Marx, Tomas G. (1985). “The Development of the Franchise Distribution System in the US Automobile Industry.” Business History Review, 59, pp. 465-474.

McCraw, Thomas K. and Tedlow, Richard S. (1997). “Henry Ford, Alfred Sloan, and the Three Phases of Marketing.” In: Thomas K. McCraw, ed., Creating modern capitalism : how entrepreneurs, companies, and countries triumphed in three industrial revolutions. Harvard.

Pashigian, Bedros Peter (1961). The Distribution of Automobiles, an Economic Analysis of the Franchise System. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

–––––, Bowen, Brian and Gould, Eric (1995). “Fashion, Styling, and the Within-Season Decline in Automobile Prices.” Journal of Law and Economics, 38(2), pp. 281-309.

——- tires

Rajan, Raghuram, Volpin, Paolo and Zingales, Luigi (2000). “The Eclipse of the U.S. Tire Industry.” In: Steven N. Kaplan, ed., Mergers and productivity. Chicago University of Press.

Sull, Donald N. (1999). “The Dynamics of Standing Still: Firestone Tire & Rubber and the Radial Revolution.” Business History Review, 73(3), pp. 430.

–––––, Tedlow, Richard S. and Rosenbloom, Richard S. (1997). “Managerial Commitments and Technological Change in the U.S. Tire Industry.” Industrial and Corporate Change, 6(March), pp. 461-500.

——- motorcycles

Boone, Christophe, Wezel, Filippo Carlo and Witteloostuijn, Arjen van (2006). “An ecological theory of population-level organizational diversity.” Antwerp: University of Antwerp Faculty of Applied Economics. October, Research Paper 2007-003.

Sonobe, Tetsushi, Hu, Dinghuan and Otsuka, Keijiro (2006). “Industrial Development in the Inland Region of China: A Case Study of the Motorcycle Industry.” Journal of Comparative Economics, 34(4), pp. 818-838.

Yamamura, Eiji (2006). “Competition among Firms for the Survival and the Process of the Industrial Development: The Development of Motorcycle Industry in Postwar Japan, 1948-1964. (In Japanese. With English summary.).” Economic Review (Keizai Kenkyu), 57(1), pp. 30-44.

–––––, Sonobe, Tetsushi and Otsuka, Keijiro (2005). “Time Path in Innovation, Imitation, and Growth: The Case of the Motorcycle Industry in Postwar Japan.” Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 15(2), pp. 169-186.

Wezel, Filippo Carlo and Lomi, Alessandro (2003). “The Organizational Advantage of Nations: An Ecological Perspective on the Evolution of the Motorcycle Industry in Belgium, Italy and Japan, 1898-1993.” In: Joel A. C. Baum and Olav Sorenson, eds., Geography and strategy. New York and Oxford: Elsevier Science JAI, pp. 377-409.