Papers presented by Takafumi Kurosawa since 2019

2023 Detroit, MI, United States

"Industry Dynamics of Pulp and Paper Industry: A Global Long-Term Overview from the “Industry Heterogeneity” Perspective"

Takafumi Kurosawa, Kyoto University


With the emergence of platform companies and alternative analytical frameworks such as global value chains and ecosystems, the meso-level analysis of "industries" is becoming less self-evident. On the other hand, recent studies on industry boundaries (Stokes & Banken 2015), industry ontologies (Kurosawa 2018), and "industry dynamics" across a large number of industries (Kipping, Kurosawa & Westney 2022) are newly showing the importance of an approach that takes industry as the unit of analysis and observes the dynamics of firms at the micro level from there, as well as the importance of historical analysis with a long-term time horizon. In particular, they point out the need for a general framework and concept to explain the differences among individual industries (“industry heterogeneity”). This paper responds to these challenges by providing a comprehensive analysis of the pulp and paper industry over a very long period of time, from early modern times to the present, and for 20 countries covering 95 percent of world production. The industry stands out for the stability of its products, technology, and industry over time, and its very "simple" industrial structure makes it a good subject for experimenting with the validity of an analytical framework that could be potentially applied also to other industries. This paper will identify when and what changes the pulp and paper industry has experienced in products, technology, raw materials, consumption, and intra-industry organization, and what this has meant for the firms that make up this industry. The following concepts and analytical criteria are used to depict the characteristics of this industry and its changes. “Commodity characteristics (Beckman 1846); "temporality" of commodities, raw materials, and machinery (Kurosawa, 2011); Industry life cycle (Abernathy 1978; Utterback 1996); Global value chains (Gereffi 2020); Natural resource procurement system (Tanaka 2022). This paper also identify the relationship between regional characteristics and turning points in industrial dynamics for 12 firms in the United States, Europe, Japan, China, and other emerging economies.


2022 Mexico City


Susie Pak, St. John's University
Takafumi Kurosawa, Kyoto University
Ben Wubs, Erasmus University
Neil Rollings, University of Glasgow