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Regime switching in stochastic models of commodity prices: An application to an optimal tree harvesting problem

  • Shan Chen

    (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)

  • Margaret Insley

    (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)

This paper investigates a regime switching model of stochastic lumber prices in the context of an optimal tree harvesting problem. Using lumber derivatives prices, two lumber price models are calibrated: a regime switching model and a single regime model. In the regime switching model, the lumber price can be in one of two regimes in which different mean reverting price processes prevail. An optimal tree harvesting problem is specified in terms of a linear complementarity problem which is solved using a fully implicit finite difference, fully-coupled, numerical approach. The land value and critical harvesting prices are found to be significantly different depending on which price model is used. The regime switching model shows promise as a parsimonious model of timber prices that can be incorporated into forestry investment problems.

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Paper provided by University of Waterloo, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08003.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wat:wpaper:08003
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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.
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  7. Margaret Insley & Kimberly Rollins, 2005. "On Solving the Multirotational Timber Harvesting Problem with Stochastic Prices: A Linear Complementarity Formulation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(3), pages 735-755.
  8. Thomas A. Thomson, 1992. "Optimal Forest Rotation When Stumpage Prices Follow a Diffusion Process," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 329-342.
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  19. Insley, Margaret & Lei, Manle, 2007. "Hedges and Trees: Incorporating Fire Risk into Optimal Decisions in Forestry Using a No-Arbitrage Approach," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(03), December.
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