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Structural changes in Swedish wastepaper demand: a variable cost function approach

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The primary purpose of this paper is to analyse the short‐run price responsiveness of wastepaper demand in Sweden for four different paper and board products, as well as any structural changes in demand behaviour for these products over time. The analysis is done within a variable Translog cost function model, and we employ data for individual paper and board mills over the time period 1974‐1994. The results suggest that the short‐run own‐price sensitivity of waste paper demand is relatively high compared to those of other input factors, and it has also tended to increase over time for some of the paper products. In addition, wastepaper demand has also become more sensitive to changes in energy prices, and its use increases with increases in the price of energy. However, the relationship between wastepaper and woodpulp is more complex, and in many instances wastepaper and woodpulp are short‐run complements. Overall this implies that price based recycling policies will be relatively successful in promoting wastepaper use, but they will not necessarily lead to the conservation of virgin forest resources.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Forestry Project, Laxenburg, Austria 2: Luleå University of Technology, Division of Economics, SE-97187 Luleå, Sweden

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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