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An Economic Analysis of Harvest Behavior: Integrating Forest and Ownership Characteristics

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This study provides insight into the determinants of timber supply from private forests through development of both theoretical and empirical models of harvest behavior. A microeconomic model encompasses the multiple objective nature of private ownership by examining the harvest decision for landowners who derive utility from forest amenities and from income used for the consumption of other goods. Tobit analysis is used to estimate the relationship between harvest behavior and forest, owner, and economic characteristics from cross-sectional data for individual forest plots in New Hampshire. The empirical results highlight the influence of forest characteristics and landowner affluence on the harvest decision. Decomposition of the Tobit coefficients indicates that changes in timber supply are expected to result primarily from changes in the number of acres from which timber is offered for sale and to a much lesser extent from changes in per-acre harvesting intensity. Marginal supply responses varied considerably depending on the values for the other coefficients and variables, underscoring the need to consider the shape of the distribution as well as the mean values for the explanatory variables when projecting harvest behavior. For. Sci. 35(4): 1088-1104.
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Keywords: Tobit analysis; econometric model of timber supply

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, P.O. Box 968,705 Spear Street, Bington, VT 05402

Publication date: 1989-12-01

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    Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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