Defining an Industry: What is the Size and Scope of the Australian Building and Construction Industry

Gerard de Valence


This is a reprint from Vol 1, no 1, which has not previously been available in electronic format.

The analysis and understanding of the conduct and performance of an industry begins with a study of its structure. However, before analysing an industry's structure it is necessary to define the industry and identify its size, scope and scale to establish its true economic contribution. This paper discusses the size and scope of the Australian building and construction industry, firstly froma traditional industry economics approach by firm size and business characteristics using data fron three construction industry surveys done over 15 years by the ABS. Secondly, data from an industry 'cluster' perspective is shown. The objective of the paper is to compare the differences found in industry size and scope in the structure-conduct-performance approach and the alternative industry cluster approach. Each model reveals different characteristics of the industry. The conclusion finds that the building and construction industry is a case where the traditional structure-conduct-performance model cannot be easily applied. 


Building industry; Construction industry; Productivity

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