1993 volume 25(9) pages 1339 – 1359

Cite as:
Ó hUallacháin B, 1993, "The restructuring of the US steel industry: changes in the location of production and employment" Environment and Planning A 25(9) 1339 – 1359

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The restructuring of the US steel industry: changes in the location of production and employment

B Ó hUallacháin

Received 26 June 1992; in revised form 18 February 1993

Abstract. Recent reorganization of the US iron and steel industry provides a useful setting for an analysis of the relationship between industrial location and institutional forms. Regression analysis shows that institutional shifts in the organization of production dominated geographical shifts in employment and product value as integrated maxi-mills sought to raise productivity. The reorganization of production includes mill abandonment, increased subcontracting by maxi-mills in the initial stages of production, horizontal penetration by mini-mills in the sheet-steel market, and the growing integration of steel finishing and automobile assembly as firms that belong to Japanese corporate groups expand their operations in the USA. Maxi-mills are concentrating investment and production in the Midwest states as their joint ventures with Japanese steel firms specialize in the mass production of galvanized sheets for the automobile industry. Locational shifts also include the national spread of scrap-processing mini-mills and the rapid decline of raw-steel production in Pittsburgh as maxi-mills close furnaces and mills producing construction-grade bars and rods.

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