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Comparative analysis of efficiency and productivity growth in Canadian regional boreal logging industries

Hailu, A., Veeman, T.S.
Canadian journal of forest research 2003 v.33 no.9 pp. 1653-1660
forest industries, logging, boreal forests, forest products industry, history, technological change, mathematical models, statistical analysis, stand density, stand characteristics, forest economics, timber production, equations, productivity, pulp and paper industry, econometric models, Canada
The Canadian boreal logging industry has attracted little or no attention from economic researchers in spite of its importance for the competitiveness and long-term survival of other forest-based industries. This article uses a panel data set covering the period from 1977 to 1995 to analyze technical efficiency, technical change, and total factor productivity growth in the logging industries for six boreal provinces. The production technology is represented using a data envelopment analysis model. A transitive measure of productivity change that combines technical progress and changes in the degree of productive efficiency is computed. The empirical investigation reveals that logging activities in the boreal region are characterized by substantial efficiency differentials among the regions. Results from a Tobit analysis of efficiency differentials indicate that forest resource characteristics such as forest density and proportion of hardwood production were found to have positive effects. There was also evidence of significant positive scale effects. Engineering construction per area seems to be negatively related to efficiency. Total factor productivity in the boreal logging industry progressed at an average annual rate of 1.56%.