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Labor Intensity and Sawmill Scale in a Labor-Surplus Economy

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This study examines how inputs of sawmill labor and fixed capital vary by sawmill scale in the Philippines. The policy context is using sawmill scale as an instrument for employment generation. Labor-output ratios are higher for small than for large sawmills. However, in the large sawmills the labor-output ratio increases considerably when accounting for the labor content of kiln-drying and integrated sawnwood remanufacturing. Because the sum of wage costs plus capital rentals is greatly overshadowed by expenditures for roundwood, the trade-off between labor absorption and allocational efficiency is highly sensitive to only small variations in roundwood costs and roundwood conversion rates. Forest Sci. 28:79-91.

Keywords: Employment generation; appropriate technology; economic development; sawmill mechanization; small-scale industry

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University, P.O. Box 5488, Raleigh, NC 27650

Publication date: 1982-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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