Technical Change and Productivity Growth in the Lumber and Wood Products Industry

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Technical change in the U.S. lumber and wood products industry over a 23-year period was analyzed in order to determine the extent of labor-saving or capital-saving bias. Technical change in the industry was found to exhibit a labor-saving bias that resulted in a doubling of labor's productive efficiency while capital's productive efficiency declined. The decline in capital's efficiency was attributed, in part, to underutilization of capacity. Technical change accounted for most of the growth in productivity in the industry. The elasticity of factor substitution was revealed to be approximately 0.14 and labor was shown to have received the larger share of income throughout the period. Forest Sci. 28:135-147.

Keywords: Forest products; efficiency; technology

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor of Forest Economics and Policy, College of Agriculture and Forestry, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506

Publication date: March 1, 1982

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