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On a forest as a commodity and on commodification in the discipline of forestry

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  • Khan, M. Ali

Abstract

This essay revolves around two dates separated by a decade: a retrospective look based on Samuelson (1976), and a prospective one that relies on Mitra-Wan (1985–1986). It concerns a tension between two communities: to understand the basis of this dissonance, and to open lines of communication that seek to dispel it. More specifically, it relies on two frameworks (Walrasian general equilibrium theory, as in Arrow-Debreu-McKenzie-Uzawa-Gale-Nikaido-Kuhn and others, and the Ramseyian theory of optimal growth, as in Samuelson-Solow-Cass-Koopmans-Uzawa-Srinivasan and others), formalized and continually refined in the last half of the 20th century to deal with interaction and with time, both essential considerations in any kind of economics of forestry. It also gives prominence to the Muir- Pinchot controversy at the very beginning of the 20th century, and thereby underscores its relevance to current ongoing tensions and anxieties regarding issues of sustainability and global-warming. From a purely analytical point of view, it alludes in passing to the potential relevance to forestry economics of mean field theories in physics, and of subgame-perfect equilibria in the theory of non-cooperative games.

Suggested Citation

  • Khan, M. Ali, 2016. "On a forest as a commodity and on commodification in the discipline of forestry," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 7-17.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:72:y:2016:i:c:p:7-17
    DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2016.06.010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    General equilibrium; Capital theory; Faustman; Optimal rotation; Muir-Pinchot rivalry; Turnpike theory;

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals

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