Shifting Southern Softwood Stumpage Supply: Implications for Welfare Estimation from Technical Change

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This paper estimates the economic benefits from increasing timber inventory in the southern softwood forest over the period from 1950 to 1980. The analysis measures the benefits arising to consumers and producers of stumpage from increases in softwood stumpage availability. Over the period of the analysis, average total benefits are roughly equal between the pulpwood and solidwood (combined lumber and plywood) stumpage markets. Average combined benefits range from $1.3 million to $5.3 million per year (1967 $). The size of the total benefits are more greatly affected by the level of shift assumed than they are by the structural characteristics of the market. The distribution of the benefits, however, differs quite markedly depending on the market structure. Pulpwood consumers (pulp and paper mills), for instance, receive greater than 150% of the total benefits from increased productivity effects on stumpage production as producers receive negative benefits. Solidwood producers receive positive benefits from increasing supply, although only 10% of the total benefits that are created. These distributional imbalances in the effects of policies designed to improve forest productivity should be considered in future analyses which assess the impacts and returns of these policies. For. Sci. 36(3):705-718.

Keywords: Research evaluation; productivity analysis; southern timber markets

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Professor of Forest and Resource Economics at the School of Forest Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602

Publication date: September 1, 1990

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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.
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