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This paper represents the first case study attempt to develop a transaction cost conceptual model to describe industry evolution of the paper and lumber industries in the Southern United States around the late 1800s and early 1900s. We use transaction cost theory to explain the co-evolution of markets for wood products noting that variation in the level and type of investments made in physical and human capital assets needed to manage paper and lumber miller operations had a significant influence on the use of wood dealer systems compared to more vertically organized business arrangements. We identify some testable hypotheses and areas of future research.


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