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A General Approach to the Stochastic Rotation Problem with Amenity Valuation

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  • Luis H. R. Alvarez
  • Erkki Koskela

Abstract

This paper presents a new approach to study the optimal rotation policy with amenity valuation under uncertainty. We first postulate the stochastic forest value and assume plausibly that monetary value of amenities is a continuous and non-negative function of forest value thus presenting the trade-off between timber revenues and amenity values. Second, instead of using a dynamic programming approach, we derive a recursive representation of the total forest value and solve the optimal rotation threshold by applying ordinary non-linear programming techniques. Third, we characterize under certain set of conditions how the properties of both the expected cumulative value and the expected marginal cumulative value, accrued from amenity services, depend on the precise nature of the monetary valuation of amenities and what is the impact of volatility on these concepts. Finally, we illustrate our results explicitly in models based on logistic growth by focusing on the role of amenity valuation and volatility of forest value in the determination of Wicksellian and Faustmannian thresholds. Our theoretical and numerical findings emphasize the crucial importance of the nature of amenity valuation for the impact of higher volatility of forest value on the rotation thresholds.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis H. R. Alvarez & Erkki Koskela, 2003. "A General Approach to the Stochastic Rotation Problem with Amenity Valuation," CESifo Working Paper Series 857, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_857
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo_wp857.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. G. Cornelis van Kooten & Robert A. Schipper, 2002. "Forest Conservation in Costa Rica when Nonuse Benefits are Uncertain but Rising," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 150-160.
    2. Koskela, Erkki & Ollikainen, Markku, 2001. "Forest Taxation and Rotation Age under Private Amenity Valuation: New Results," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 374-384, November.
    3. 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.
    4. Reed, William J., 1993. "The decision to conserve or harvest old-growth forest," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 45-69, August.
    5. Bowes, Michael D. & Krutilla, John V., 1985. "Multiple use management of public forestlands," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics,in: A. V. Kneeseā€  & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 12, pages 531-569 Elsevier.
    6. 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.
    7. Koskela, Erkki & Ollikainen, Markku, 2002. "Optimal Forest Taxation under Private and Social Amenity Valuation," Discussion Papers 815, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    8. Strang, William J, 1983. "On the Optimal Forest Harvesting Decision," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(4), pages 576-583, October.
    9. Conrad, Jon M., 1997. "On the option value of old-growth forest," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 97-102, August.
    10. Conrad, Jon M., 2000. "Wilderness: options to preserve, extract, or develop," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 205-219, July.
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    Keywords

    amenity valuation; optimal Faustmannian and Wicksellian rotation policy; stochatic impulse control;

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