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A sector of the economy in which firms use similar factor inputs to create a group of related products and/or services. The extraction of natural resources, including agriculture, is primary industry; manufacturing is secondary industry; tertiary industry comprises services, including transportation and communication; quaternary industry deals with a range of producer services from banking to retailing to real estate; and quinary industry with consumer services such as education, health care, and government information. With economic development, industry moves from primary industry to progressively less material-oriented activities such as textiles and clothing, until, over time, tertiary industries dominate; the sequence is illustrated in the figure.

The relative dominance of the latter three categories over the former two in many industrialized countries has informed discussions of a post-industrial society, in which Miozzo and Soete (2001) Tech. Forecast. & Soc. 67, 2 identify research and development, design, marketing, distribution, and after-sales maintenance as essential.

Phelps and Ozawa (2003) PHG27, 5 propose four industrial phases.

Industry. Industrial change in Japan 1990–2002Source: Ström, 2005, Soc. Sci. Japan J 8, 2



late industrial


Sectorial basis




Services- manufacturing

Division of labour

Intra-firm, intra- and inter-sectorial

Inter-firm and inter-sectorial

Intra- and inter-firm, intra- sectorial

Inter- and inter-firm, inter- and intra-sectorial

Source of accumulation

Exports →domestic

Domestic → exports

Domestic → exports

Exports → domestic

Subjects: Social Sciences — Earth Sciences and Geography.

Reference entries

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