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Optimal Harvesting Of Forest Age Classes: A Survey Of Some Recent Results


  • Olli Tahvonen


Dynamic optimization problems with vintage or age class structures involve complexities that are not encountered in economic models with fewer state variables. These problems have been faced for centuries in forest harvesting decisions, and the earliest ideas for tackling them date from the early 15th century. However, only recently has the harvesting problem with multiple age classes been specified in a form that is fruitful for economic analysis. This survey discusses some of the main properties of the nonlinear discrete time forestry model, which has proven to be tractable in analytical studies and has been used in empirical policy-oriented research. It is shown that the model's stationary state is represented by a set of cyclic solutions and that the maximum radius of the cycle depends on the period length applied in the model specification. The result suggests that it is essential to note that implications of using continuous or discrete variables in specifying time and age structure in age class models with economic optimization.

Suggested Citation

  • Olli Tahvonen, 2004. "Optimal Harvesting Of Forest Age Classes: A Survey Of Some Recent Results," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3-4), pages 205-232.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:mpopst:v:11:y:2004:i:3-4:p:205-232 DOI: 10.1080/08898480490513616

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabbri, Giorgio & Faggian, Silvia & Freni, Giuseppe, 2015. "On the Mitra–Wan forest management problem in continuous time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 1001-1040.
    2. Viitala, Esa-Jussi, 2006. "An early contribution of Martin Faustmann to natural resource economics," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 131-144, June.
    3. Couture, Stéphane & Cros, Marie-Josée & Sabbadin, Régis, 2016. "Risk aversion and optimal management of an uneven-aged forest under risk of windthrow: A Markov decision process approach," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 94-114.
    4. Terry Heaps, 2014. "Convergence of Optimal Harvesting Policies to a Normal Forest," Discussion Papers dp14-01, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    5. Heaps, Terry, 2015. "Convergence of optimal harvesting policies to a normal forest," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 74-85.
    6. Adriana Piazza, 2009. "The optimal harvesting problem with a land market: a characterization of the asymptotic convergence," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 40(1), pages 113-138, July.
    7. Xabadia, Angels & Goetz, Renan U., 2010. "The optimal selective logging regime and the Faustmann formula," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 63-82, January.
    8. 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.
    9. Couture, Stéphane & Reynaud, Arnaud, 2011. "Forest management under fire risk when forest carbon sequestration has value," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2002-2011, September.
    10. Piazza, Adriana & Roy, Santanu, 2015. "Deforestation and optimal management," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 15-27.


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