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Optimal Design of Forest Taxation with Multiple-Use Characteristics of Forest Stands

  • ERKKI Koskela

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  • MARKKU Ollikainen
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    The paper studies optimal forest taxation under uncertainty about future timber price when private forest owners value amenity services of forest stands and forest stands have public goods characteristics. It is assumed that preferences of forest owners can be described by a quasi-linear, intertemporal utility function which reflects risk aversion in terms of consumption and constant marginal utility in terms of amenity services. The comparative statics of current and future harvesting in terms of timber price risk, site productivity tax and yield tax are first developed. It is shown that, given the optimal site productivity tax, which is independent of the timber harvested and thus non-distortionary, it is desirable to introduce the yield tax at the margin; it both corrects externality due to the public goods characteristic of forest stands and serves as a social insurance device. The optimal yield tax is less than 100% and depends on the social value of forest stands, timber price risk and properties of compensated timber supply. In the general case the 'inverse elasticity rule’ – according to which the optimal yield tax is negatively related to the size of the substitution effects – may not hold. Under certainty, the desirability of the yield tax, given the optimal site productivity tax, depends only on the existence of public goods characteristic and is thus a pure Pigouvian tax. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1026472622826
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    Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 10 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 1 (July)
    Pages: 41-62

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:10:y:1997:i:1:p:41-62
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    1. Englin, Jeffrey E. & Klan, Mark S., 1990. "Optimal taxation: Timber and externalities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 263-275, May.
    2. Max, Wendy & Lehman, Dale E., 1988. "A behavioral model of timber supply," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 71-86, March.
    3. Diamond, Peter A & Yaari, Menahem, 1972. "Implications of the Theory of Rationing for Consumer Choice Under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 333-43, June.
    4. Varian, Hal R., 1980. "Redistributive taxation as social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, August.
    5. Snyder, Donald L. & Bhattacharyya, Rabindra N., 1990. "A more general dynamic economic model of the optimal rotation of multiple-use forests," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 168-175, March.
    6. Koskela, Erkki, 1984. "On the effects of differentiated income taxation on portfolio selection," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-2), pages 145-150.
    7. 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.
    8. Strang, William J, 1983. "On the Optimal Forest Harvesting Decision," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(4), pages 576-83, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Jeffrey R. Vincent & Clark S. Binkley, 1993. "Efficient Multiple-Use Forestry May Require Land-Use Specialization," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(4), pages 370-376.
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