Forest resource economics and policy research has evolved strikingly over the past forty years in a number of fundamental respects. For example, the size of the effort devoted to such research has grown substantially. The research methods available for use have become much more sophisticated. And the array of problems needing and receiving attention has multiplied in number and become much more complex. But what can be said of major program developments and accomplishments in the field of forest economics and policy research? And how has forest economics and policy research related to major contemporary trends in national affairs, of which forestry research is a part? Of necessity, answers to such questions must be broad in scope. A fully detailed account of program developments and accomplishments would far transcend the limits of space and time that apply here. Moreover, excessive detail could overwhelm the highlighting of fundamental societal forces that have strongly influenced research activity in the field of forest economics. In what follows, major emphasis will be given to the period 1947-1987. As appropriate, research begun before 1947 will be recognized in order to provide essential historical perspective.