Investment in the United States for new merchant vessels has been extremely volatile. The description and analysis of the nature of these cyclical and other oscillations as reflected in the order book for U.S. merchant ship construction is embodied in this study's four-fold purpose: it postulates a model of the shipbuilding cycle in the United States based upon research relating to aggregate economic activity, investment theory, and the environment surrounding the shipping and shipbuilding industry since 1950; it isolates and describes the main determinants of cyclical and other oscillations in commercial ship construction; it points out major differences which appear to exist between the cycle of shipbuilding activity and cycles of aggregate economic activity; and finally, it discusses the implications of the results for policies aimed at controlling, or at least modifying, the shipbuilding cycle. A total of seven variables is found to explain ninety-six percent of all cyclical and other fluctuations. The efffects of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970, the introduction of technological advances, the role of government and the devaluation of the dollar are also discussed. Finally, the possibility is considered that government subsidies to the industry, due to their structure, are actually procyclical. Several recommendations are provided to alter the aggravating influences which the government may inflict upon the cyclical and other fluctuations in commercial shipbuilding.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Maritime Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Gribbin, J Q
  • Publication Date: 1977-2

Media Info

  • Pagination: 211 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00163059
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Maritime Administration
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 28 1977 12:00AM