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Forest Certification: Economic Issues and Welfare Implications


  • M. K. Haener
  • Martin K. Luckert


Forest certification has emerged as a means of promoting the elusive goal of sustainable forest management. This paper reviews the economic issues and potential welfare implications of forest certification in light of this management goal, but finds that the effect of certification on forest product markets is uncertain. We examine why certification schemes may fail to regulate optimally market failures, and may actually decrease welfare compared to a non-certified state. Forest certification, it turns out, may not be the best policy tool for promoting sustainable forest management.

Suggested Citation

  • M. K. Haener & Martin K. Luckert, 1998. "Forest Certification: Economic Issues and Welfare Implications," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(s2), pages 83-94, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:24:y:1998:i:s2:p:83-94

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kiker, Clyde F. & Putz, Francis E., 1997. "Ecolocical certification of forest products: Economic challenges," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 37-51, January.
    2. De, Sankar & Nabar, Prafulla, 1991. "Economic implications of imperfect quality certification," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 333-337, December.
    3. Mattoo, Aaditya & Singh, Harsha V, 1994. "Eco-labelling: Policy Considerations," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 53-65.
    4. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuki Yamamoto & Kenji Takeuchi & Takayoshi Shinkuma, 2012. "Are There Price Premiums for Certified Wood?Empirical Evidence from Log Auction Data in Japan," Discussion Papers 1209, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    2. van Kooten, G. Cornelis & Nelson, Harry W. & Vertinsky, Ilan, 2005. "Certification of sustainable forest management practices: a global perspective on why countries certify," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 857-867, November.
    3. Yamamoto, Yuki & Takeuchi, Kenji & Shinkuma, Takayoshi, 2014. "Is there a price premium for certified wood? Empirical evidence from log auction data in Japan," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 168-172.
    4. Matthew Potoski & Aseem Prakash, 2009. "Information asymmetries as trade barriers: ISO 9000 increases international commerce," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 221-238.
    5. Dinopoulos, Elias & Livanis, Grigorios & West, Carol, 2010. "Country of Origin Labeling (C.O.O.L.): How cool is it?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 575-589, October.
    6. Kais Bouslah & Bouchra M’Zali & Marie-France Turcotte & Maher Kooli, 2010. "The Impact of Forest Certification on Firm Financial Performance in Canada and the U.S," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 96(4), pages 551-572, November.
    7. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Schilizzi, Steven G.M., 2003. "Quality Signaling through Certification. Theory and an Application to Agricultural Seed Market," IDEI Working Papers 165, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    8. Creamer, Selmin F. & Blatner, Keith A. & Butler, Brett J., 2012. "Certification of family forests: What influences owners’ awareness and participation?," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 131-144.
    9. Dinopoulos, Elias & Livanis, Grigorios T. & West, Carol Taylor, 2005. "How Cool is C.O.O.L.?," Working Papers 15658, University of Florida, International Agricultural Trade and Policy Center.

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