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Deforestation and Forest Land Use: A Comment

  • Vincent, Jeffrey R
  • Gillis, Malcolm

Hyde, Amacher, and Magrath (1996) imply that deforestation and timber rents (logging revenue minus logging costs other than timber fees) are not subjects that justify policymakers' attention, arguing that market responses limit the scope of deforestation and that rents are usually small. But they fail to recognize that land markets will not develop efficiently, nor will efficient levels of forestry investments occur, when policy distortions and other factors obstruct the conversion of open-access forests to private or communal ownership. For these reasons rates of deforestation can be far above optimal levels. Contrary to the authors' claims, timber rents often (although not always) are large in developing countries. Moreover, the allocation of rents between loggers and the government owners of public forests can indeed affect the profitability of forestry (and thus deforest ation), the intensity of timber harvesting, and national welfare. Copyright 1998 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Research Observer.

Volume (Year): 13 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 133-40

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:13:y:1998:i:1:p:133-40
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  1. William D. Nordhaus, 1992. "Lethal Model 2: The Limits to Growth Revisited," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 1-60.
  2. Peter Berck, 1979. "The Economics of Timber: A Renewable Resource in the Long Run," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(2), pages 447-462, Autumn.
  3. Hyde, William F & Amacher, Gregory S & Magrath, William, 1996. "Deforestation and Forest Land Use: Theory, Evidence, and Policy Implications," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 223-48, August.
  4. Jeffrey R. Vincent, 1990. "Rent Capture and the Feasibility of Tropical Forest Management," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(2), pages 212-223.
  5. William F. Hyde & Roger A. Sedjo, 1992. "Managing Tropical Forests: Reflections on the Rent Distribution Discussion," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 343-350.
  6. Page, John M., Jr. & Pearson, Scott R. & Leland, Hayne E., 1976. "Capturing Economic Rent From Ghanaian Timber," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 01.
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