Knowledge capital and cost structure in the U.S. food and fiber industries

Catherine J. Morrison, Donald Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We explore the existence and extent of scale economies arising from three different external "knowledge capital" factors - investments in R&D, high-tech, and human capital. These relationships are evaluated for the (two- and three-digit level) food and fiber processing industries from the 1960s through the 1980s. The results generate strong evidence of scale economies but also suggest that the three knowledge capital factors have tended to reduce input use (and thus costs) for all privately demanded factors. The impacts on private capital are particularly large, although human capital appears to have a relatively large impact on labor use in the textiles industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-45
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Food and fiber industries
  • Knowledge capital
  • Production costs
  • Scale economies
  • Short and long run

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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