1 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
This article assesses the credibility and relative economic importance of the many real and proposed unique development events in the Post-War evolution of the Danish furniture industry by means of available trade and production time series. It finds first, that the Danish industry experienced its only exceptional growth event compared to other developed country furniture industries in the 1950s. It is argued that this establishes as the leading causal candidates for the Danish economic specialisation in furniture; subsidised export marketing of Danish Modern style in the US and the War-undamaged Danish industry’s opportunistic exploitation of recovering European Post-War furniture markets. Second, the apparent prominence of particle board manufacture in today’s industry is a Danish specialisation with its origin in the 1950s growth event. Third, while there is much evidence that IKEA became an important buyer for Danish furniture in the 1960-1992 period and credibly aided the attainment of economies of scale in some furniture suppliers, there is no evidence that IKEA demand aided either the growth of the industry or particle board furniture manufacture in Denmark. Fourth, given the high growth rate of the industry in the 1972 – 1992 period, we should expect what has been reported: evidence of firm growth where the industry is concentrated. In this view, there was no ‘process’ of agglomeration driven by firm proximity.