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On Forest Rotation under Interest Rate Variability

  • Alvarez, Luis H R
  • Koskela, Erkki

The current literature on optimal forest rotation makes the unrealistic assumption of a constant interest rate although harvesting decisions of forest stands are typically subject to relatively long time horizons. We apply the single rotation framework to extend the existing studies to cover the unexplored case of variable interest rate. We show that even in the deterministic case if the current interest rate deviates from its long-run steady state, interest rate variability may change the rotation age significantly when compared with the constant discounting case. Further, and importantly, allowing for interest rate uncertainty as a mean reverting process and forest value as a geometric Brownian motion, we can provide an explicit solution for the two dimensional path-dependent optimal stopping problem. Increased interest rate volatility is shown to lengthen the optimal rotation period. Numerical calculations show that interest rate volatility has a large quantitative importance. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 10 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 489-503

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:10:y:2003:i:4:p:489-503
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  1. Luis H. R. Alvarez & Erkki Koskela, 2001. "Wicksellian Theory of Forest Rotation under Interest Rate Variability," CESifo Working Paper Series 606, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Markku Ollikainen & Erkki Koskela, 2001. "Optimal Private and Public Harvesting under Spatial and Temporal Interdependence," CESifo Working Paper Series 452, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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