Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



Forest products industry -- Oregon -- History, Forest products industry -- Oregon -- Statistics, Labor productivity -- Oregon

Physical Description

28 pages


In 1986 the wood products industry in Oregon was producing more output than in 1979 but with about fifteen percent fewer workers. The employment decline in the wood products industry in Oregon can be traced to a variety of causes, including reductions in timber harvest and changes in output mix between the more labor-intensive plywood production and the less labor-intensive lumber production; but increasing labor productivity in the industry was a major factor. Despite substantial amounts of research regarding such productivity increases, there is still ample room for debate about the specific causes of the observed productivity improvement.

In section I we specify the major potential causes of an observed increase in output per worker. We then summarize many of the empirical results which exist relating to these changes. In section II of the paper we discuss which types of information would be useful in sorting out among the different possible causes, and we discuss the interview protocols and their results. Section III then ends with our conclusions based on the combination of the statistical and interview data.


Catalog Number DP89-3.

A product of the Center for Urban Studies, College of Urban and Public Affairs, Portland State University.

Persistent Identifier