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Nonindustrial Private Forest Landowners as Timber Marketers: A Field Study of Search for Market Information and Decision Quality

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While it is widely assumed that nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) landowners need better information on timber markets, no studies have examined the actual extent, quality, and determinants of NIPF owners' search and decisions. Drawing from the consumer behavior literature on search and decision processes, this paper proposes that because NIPF landowners are nonprofessional marketers, their search and decision processes as sellers may be similar to those they execute as consumers. Based on that theoretical framework, the paper presents the results of a field study of search and usage of market information by NIPF timber marketers in New York state. The study found that owners typically engage in little search and that their harvesting decisions differ greatly from professionally determined norms. The results suggest that future NIPF educational efforts should focus on three objectives: (1) making owners more aware of the returns to better search and decisions, (2) informing owners about the availability, role, and value of alternative sources; and (3) teaching owners how to use that information. For. Sci. 35(3):732-744.

Keywords: NIPF owners; Timber marketing; information search; market reporting

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Masters degree in Business Administration at Baruch College and is employed by Hewlett-Packard in Grenoble, France

Publication date: September 1, 1989

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