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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.
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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: 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.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 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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