Entertainment Industrialised: The Emergence of the International Film Industry, 1890-1940

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Entertainment Industrialised is the first study to compare the emergence and economic development of the film industries in Britain, France and the United States between 1890 and 1940. Gerben Bakker investigates the commercialisation and industrialisation of live entertainment in the nineteenth century and analyses the subsequent arrival of motion pictures, revealing that their emergence triggered a process of incessant creative destruction, development and productivity growth that continues in the entertainment industry today. He argues that cinema industrialised live entertainment by automating it, standardising it and making it tradeable, a process that was largely demand-led, and that a quality race between firms changed the structure of the international entertainment market. While a hundred years ago, European enterprises were supplying half of all films shown in the USA, the quality race resulted in today's industry, in which a handful of American companies dominate the global entertainment business.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is a book that demands to be read." -The Bioscope

"...the book presents a compelling and detailed explanation for the dominance of Hollywood, an explanation that is firmly rooted in economic theory." -Michael Pokorny, EH.NET

"a commanding scholarly synthesis, drawing upon an extraordinarily extensive set of sources, which will prove indispensable to researchers in this field, and, more widely, the economic history of the second industrial revolution... .Bakker provides a coherent and convincing groundbreaking account of the economic history of the international film industry." -John Sedgwick, Economic History Review

"...a recommended read..." -Lynne Nikolychuk, World Economics

"this laudably ambitious and exhaustively researched study significantly enhances our understanding not only of the history of the film industry, but of commercial entertainments more generally." -Corey Ross, English Historical Review

"… an insightful economic history of the emergence and development of the American, British, and French cinema industries. … scholars of all stripes would benefit from reading this book." -Business History Review

"… offers bold explanatory models where anecdotal or descriptive approaches have prevailed before … provides great insights in many aspects of the history of cinema … anyone willing to dispute Bakker’s narrative of creative destruction through brilliant entrepreneurship will have to come up with an argument at least as solid, lucid and well-documented." -Kelvingrove Review

"Entertainment Industrialised is a fascinating work, a pleasure to read and strongly recommended for everyone with an interest in film, history or economics. (...)" -Journal of Media History

"a sophisticated and satisfying analysis of the American, British and French industries ... inventive and thought-provoking ... all historians of early twentieth-century film should grapple with this work." -American Historical Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gerben Bakker is Lecturer in Economic History and Management at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

1 Introduction 1

Pt. I The rise of entertainment 11

2 The emergence of national entertainment markets 17

3 The increase in demand for entertainment 72

4 The structure of household entertainment expenditure 110

Pt. II The rise of the international film industry 153

5 The emergence of cinema 159

6 The quality race 185

7 Europe's failure to catch up 229

8 How films became branded products 272

Pt. III Entertainment Industrialised 315

9 International market integration: firms versus trade 319

10 Industrialising the discovery process 341

11 At the origins of increased productivity growth in services 371

12 Epilogue: after television 404

Bibliography 413

Index 440

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