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Production Structure and Derived Demand for Factor Inputs in the Canadian Lumber Industry

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The production structure of the Canadian lumber industry was studied using duality theory in production and costs. A nonhomothetic translog cost function was employed to derive a system of four input share equations which were estimated simultaneously with the cost equation by the Iterative Three-Stage Least-Squares method. Allen partial elasticities of substitution among pairs of inputs and price elasticities of factor demands were then computed. Finally, an average cost equation was estimated and the impacts of (i) factor costs, (ii) economies of scale, and (iii) technical change on the average cost of production were determined. The results indicated that the production structure of the industry is homothetic and homogeneous but the elasticities of substitution among pairs of inputs are other than unity. Elasticity measures indicated that factor inputs in the lumber industry are fairly substitutable. Average cost of production was found to be most sensitive to the price of roundwood, followed by the price of labor. The average cost equation did not indicate technological progress in the lumber industry in the last 17 years, although there exist substantial economies of scale in cost of production. Forest Sci 31:871-881.

Keywords: Elasticity measures; cost equation

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A1

Publication date: December 1, 1985

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

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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