Front Page Titles (by Subject) French War Planification: Chlorates - Literature of Liberty, October/December 1978, vol. 1, No. 4
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
French War “Planification”: Chlorates - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, October/December 1978, vol. 1, No. 4 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
This work is copyrighted by the Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, and is put online with their permission.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
French War “Planification”: Chlorates
“Contribution à l'histoire des ententes industrielles (à partir d'un exemple, L'industrie des chlorates).” (A Contribution to the History of Industrial Alliances: The Chlorate Industry.) Revue d'histoire économique et sociale 54 (1976): 118–129.
The history of industrial alliances and cartels in connection with French government regulation of the chlorate industry in Europe repays study. International cartelization was part of the general movement toward protectionism which occurred in late nineteenth-century Europe.
In the late nineteenth century the French state exercised an important role in the market for chlorates through its demand for explosives and its monopoly of the manufacture and distribution of matches. More importantly, government customs barriers were essential in developing national monopolies which in turn developed into the international cartel. Customs barriers allowed the cartel to maintain coercively high profit levels which the cartel itself enjoyed rather than the individual manufacturers. This economic factor accounted for the continued strength of the cartel. Competitors were either co-opted into the cartel as junior partners or purchased outright. These were the favored tactics, since price cutting to force out competitors proved to be dangerous. Market forces—heavy speculative buying by chlorate consumers—tended to keep the price down.
After World War I, the growing trend toward national economic autarky ended the international cartel. National monopolies, however, grew stronger by the virtual elimination of international competition. In the international climate of the period, national cartels and the occasional alliances among them seem to have been less forms of regulation than weapons of war controlled by state policy.