A General Approach to the Stochastic Rotation Problem with Amenity Valuation
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.
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