Skip to main content

An Evaluation of Public Research in Three Forest Products Industries

Buy Article:

$29.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)


This paper follows an earlier assessment of softwood plywood research by evaluating public research in the sawmill, woodpulp, and wood preservatives industries. Together, these are a sufficiently broad group of forest product industries to enable generalizations about the merit of public forest products research. The general econometric results for the three additional industries are at least as satisfying as those in the broader research evaluation literature. Public research in each of the four industries returned a net social gain for the 1950-1980 period of our examination. Large consumer gains and producer gains that are either negative (sawmills, woodpulp, wood preservatives), or divided among too many firms to enable private profitability (sawmills, SWPW), or nonmarket and environmental (wood preservatives, perhaps woodpulp), justify the public role in each industry. There is some suggestion, however, that politically encouraged research activities have not paid off. Our summary policy statement is that public research managers, particularly at the Forest Products Laboratory, when allowed their own judgment, have made socially beneficial decisions. For. Sci. 37(2):669-687.

Keywords: Research and development; research evaluation; technical change

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Branch Chief, Economics Research Service, Washington, DC

Publication date: June 1, 1991

More about this publication?
  • Membership Information
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more