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Marginal Productivity of Public Research in the Softwood Plywood Industry: A Dual Approach

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The production function approach commonly used in agricultural studies is modified to estimate returns from publicly funded forestry research. The method indirectly estimates production function coefficients using a simultaneous, constrained supply and demand system. From these estimates the value of the marginal product (VMP) of public research involving softwood plywood is used to calculate a marginal internal rate of return (MIRR) on publicly funded research. Whereas similar studies in the agricultural literature use a short-run VMP based solely on the initial impact of R&D, we develop a long-run VMP, which incorporates research impacts over time. A short-run VMP is also defined, however, and compared to the results reported in the agricultural literature. Estimates of the short-run VMP for softwood plywood are similar to other aggregate research cases, such as corn and poultry. The estimated long-run VMP, however, is large; the most conservative assumptions yield an estimated VMP of public research in softwood plywood of $33.11 in 1967 dollars. The MIRR is also large with a lower estimate of 236%. For. Sci. 33(4):872-888.
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Keywords: Research evaluation; innovation; technical change

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC 27706

Publication date: 1987-12-01

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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