Factor substitution in the Finnish pulp and paper industry
The study examines the factor demands of the Finnish pulp and paper industry. In the theoretical part of the study, factor demand equations are derived using neoclassical production theory. In the empirical part, econometric factor demand model is estimated using annual time-series data for the period 1960–86. The relationship of factor demands and their prices are examined in terms of own price, cross price and substitution elasticities.
It is assumed that the ”representative firm” in the pulp and paper industry is minimizing its costs of production at a given output level. In addition, a number of other assumptions are made which enable the production technology to be represented by a cost function, in which the inputs are capital, labour, energy and raw materials. From the cost function, the factor demand equations, i.e., the cost share equations are derived by applying Shephard’s lemma. The equations are transformed to estimable form using translog approximation for the underlying factor share functions.
The study differs from the previous factor demand studies by applying the error correction model based on the Granger Representation Theorem and the results of the cointegration literature to model the dynamics of the factor demand. This approach provides a statistically consistent method for estimating the long-run static factor demand equations and the corresponding short-run equations. In general, the econometrics of integrated processes (e.g. stationarity and cointegration tests) applied in the present study have not been applied before in factor demand systems models.
The empirical results of the study indicate that the error correction approach can be applied to estimations of the factor demands for the pulp and paper industry. In both industry sectors, the adjustment to short run disequlibrium (price shocks) appears to be fairly rapid. The most significant results of the calculated elasticities are that the factor demands of pulp and paper industries clearly react to changes in factor prices and that there are significant substitution possibilities between the different inputs. The absolute values of the elasticities are, on average, somewhat larger than have been obtained in previous studies.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.
Published in 1990