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Wicksellian theory of forest rotation under interest rate variability

  • Alvarez, Luis H. R.
  • Koskela, Erkki

The current literature on optimal forest rotation makes the assumption of constant interest rate. However, the irreversible harvesting decisions of forest stands are typically subject to relatively long time horizons over which interest rates do fluctuate considerably. In this paper we apply the Wicksellian single rotation framework to extend the existing studies to cover the unexplored case of variable interest rate. Given the technical generality of the considered valuation problem, we provide a thorough mathematical characterization of the optimal timing problem and develop new results. We show that even in the deterministic case if the current interest rate deviates from its long-run steady state, interest rate variability changes the rotation age significantly when compared with the constant discounting case. Further, and importantly, allowing for interest rate uncertainty is shown to increase the optimal rotation period when the value of the optimal policy is a convex function of the current interest rate. In line with this finding, we also establish that increased interest rate volatility has a positive impact on the optimal rotation period.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 29 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 529-545

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:29:y:2005:i:3:p:529-545
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. Merton, Robert C, 1975. "An Asymptotic Theory of Growth under Uncertainty," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 375-93, July.
  2. Reed, William J., 1993. "The decision to conserve or harvest old-growth forest," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 45-69, August.
  3. Swallow Stephen K. & Wear David N., 1993. "Spatial Interactions in Multiple-Use Forestry and Substitution and Wealth Effects for the Single Stand," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 103-120, September.
  4. Morck, Randall & Schwartz, Eduardo & Stangeland, David, 1989. "The Valuation of Forestry Resources under Stochastic Prices and Inventories," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(04), pages 473-487, December.
  5. Luis H.R. Alvarez & Erkki Koskela, 2004. "Irreversible investment under interest rate variability: new results," Others 0404007, EconWPA.
  6. repec:spr:compst:v:54:y:2001:i:2:p:315-337 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Thomas A. Thomson, 1992. "Optimal Forest Rotation When Stumpage Prices Follow a Diffusion Process," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 329-342.
  8. Insley, Margaret, 2002. "A Real Options Approach to the Valuation of a Forestry Investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 471-492, November.
  9. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
  10. Yaacov Z. Bergman & Bruce D. Grundy & Zvi Wiener, . "General Properties of Option Prices (Revision of 11-95) (Reprint 058)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 1-96, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  11. Alvarez, Luis H. R., 2001. "On the form and risk-sensitivity of zero coupon bonds for a class of interest rate models," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 83-90, February.
  12. Luis H. R. Alvarez & Erkki Koskela, 2006. "Irreversible Investment under Interest Rate Variability: Some Generalizations," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(2), pages 623-644, March.
  13. Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1992. "Waiting to Invest: Investment and Uncertainty," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-29, January.
  14. repec:spr:compst:v:53:y:2001:i:1:p:89-99 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1980. " An Analysis of Variable Rate Loan Contracts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 389-403, May.
  16. Hartman, Richard, 1976. "The Harvesting Decision When a Standing Forest Has Value," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(1), pages 52-58, March.
  17. Tahvonen, Olli & Salo, Seppo & Kuuluvainen, Jari, 2001. "Optimal forest rotation and land values under a borrowing constraint," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(10), pages 1595-1627, October.
  18. Reed, William J., 1984. "The effects of the risk of fire on the optimal rotation of a forest," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 180-190, June.
  19. Reed, William J & Clarke, Harry R, 1990. "Harvest Decisions and Asset Valuation for Biological Resources Exhibiting Size-Dependent Stochastic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(1), pages 147-69, February.
  20. Koskela, Erkki & Ollikainen, Markku, 2001. "Forest Taxation and Rotation Age under Private Amenity Valuation: New Results," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 374-384, November.
  21. Markku Ollikainen & Erkki Koskela, 2001. "Optimal Private and Public Harvesting under Spatial and Temporal Interdependence," CESifo Working Paper Series 452, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Bergman, Yaacov Z & Grundy, Bruce D & Wiener, Zvi, 1996. " General Properties of Option Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(5), pages 1573-1610, December.
  23. Samuelson, Paul A, 1976. "Economics of Forestry in an Evolving Society," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(4), pages 466-92, December.
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