Biotechnical Progress in Forestry: An Optimal Control Analysis

Authors: Bhattacharyya, Anjana; Lyon, Kenneth S.

Source: Forest Science, Volume 40, Number 1, 1 February 1994 , pp. 120-141(22)

Publisher: Society of American Foresters

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A discrete time optimal control model is constructed in this paper to measure the gains from biological research expenditures in forestry. This is an extension of the timber supply model of Sedjo and Lyon (1990). We posit a production function for biotechnological improvements, which take the form of improved varieties of seeds and improved silvicultural practices. The model takes into account all the dynamic benefits from a dollar of research spending in terms of its effect on the current and future levels of technology, and of the future timber supplies resulting from the improved seeds and management practices. These separate effects are tracked in the model using state variables for the "index of technology" and for the "embodied yield index." The results of implementing the model on data for the U.S. South are reported. The empirical results indicate that biotechnical productivity gains in the range of 8 to 16% over a 25-yr period are sufficient to justify investment in biotechnology at historic levels. For. Sci. 40(1):120-141.

Keywords: Biotechnological change; optimal control; shadow value; southern pine

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, Economics, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-3530

Publication date: February 1, 1994

More about this publication?
  • 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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