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Determinants of Log-To-Lumber Conversion Efficiency: A Washington Case Study

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Log-to-lumber conversion efficiency is modeled using pooled cross-section and time-series data for individual sawmills. The analysis incorporates economic variables, technological characteristics of sawmills, and timber characteristics. To exploit optimally the panel structure of the database, fixed effects and error components models are estimated, along with the ordinary least squares model. The elasticity of substitution between sawlogs and other inputs used in manufacturing lumber is small, but statistically significant. However, the data are not adequate to rule out the conclusion that lumber production is a fixed proportions production process because relative prices may be correlated with exogenous technological change. Mill size, mill vintage, headrig type, and log diameter also are key factors that influence log use. However, once a sawmill is in place, there is a large unsystematic component to its recovery performance. For. Sci. 35(2):437-452.
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Keywords: Overrun; factor substitution; lumber recovery; sawlog demand

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Assistant Professor, CINTRAFOR, College of Forest Resources, AR-10, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195.

Publication date: 1989-06-01

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    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.
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