Conducting Simulation Experiments to Test Historical Explanations: The Historical Development of the German Dye Industry 1857-1913
43 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2015
Date Written: February 1, 2015
In a simulation experiment, building on the abductive simulation approach of Brenner and Werker (2007), we test historical explanations for why German firms came to surpass British and France firms and to dominate the global synthetic dye industry for three decades before World War 1 while the U.S. never achieved large market share despite large home demand. Murmann and Homburg (2001) and Murmann (2003) argued that German firms came to dominate the global industry because of (1) the high initial number of organic chemists in Germany at the start of the industry in 1857, (2) the high responsiveness of the German university system and (3) the late (1877) introduction of a patent regime in Germany as well as the more narrow construction of this regime compared to Britain, France and the U.S. Our simulation experiments show that the responsiveness of the German university system was especially important for the development of the dominant German position.
Keywords: simulation experiments, synthetic dye industry, testing historical explanations
JEL Classification: L65, L25, L26, M13, N60, B52, C63
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