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

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Gerben Bakker
Cambridge University Press (October 2008)

Entertainment Industrialised is the first study to compare the emergence and economic development of the film industry 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 US, the quality race resulted in today's industry, in which a handful of American companies dominate the global entertainment business.

Dr Gerben Bakker is a Lecturer in Economic History and Management in the Departments of Economic History and Accounting at LSE.

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