Abstract: Internationalization of the Dutch Paper and Board Industry, 1965-2000

Bram Bouwens


The case of the Dutch paper and board industry illustrates the development of the globalization process of a branch of industry during the second half of the twentieth century. In 2000, foreign multinational corporations owned over 80 percent of the Dutch paper and board companies. The paper argues that the transformation of the industry was a product of strategic alterations of firms rather than of a reduction of transaction costs that were made possible by technological advance. The internationalization of the Dutch paper and board industry had a historical pattern that was related to the specific structure of the industry. The contemporary developments are seen as a result of path dependent strategies of firms. Economic, institutional, and also bandwagon elements determined this process.