1988 volume 20(12) pages 1623 – 1643

Cite as:
Webber M, Tonkin S, 1988, "Technical changes and the rate of profit in the Canadian wood, furniture, and paper industries" Environment and Planning A 20(12) 1623 – 1643

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Technical changes and the rate of profit in the Canadian wood, furniture, and paper industries

M Webber, S Tonkin

Received 2 September 1987; in revised form 23 February 1988

Abstract. In this paper the rate of profit is examined and the components of changes in the rate of profit are identified in the wood, furniture, and paper industries of Canada for the years 1952 to 1981. The rate of profit in the wood industry generally rose, until a dramatic fall since 1979 onwards; this fall was largely due to a collapse of market prices and to the effects of that collapse on the technical composition of capital (via changes in the rate of capacity utilization). Profit rates in the furniture industry have generally been rising because the rate of exploitation has risen, even though techniques of production have changed only slowly. In the paper industry profit rates have generally fallen, in response to rapid changes in technology. There is generally short-run variation in the technical composition of capital, which, therefore, is affected by market conditions as well as the technology embodied in fixed capital.

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