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Silvicultural Contracting in British Columbia: A Transaction Cost Economics Analysis

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In the light of institutional reforms to British Columbia's forestry sector, this study investigates forest companies' decisions to contract out silvicultural activities or to perform them in-house. A model is developed to test the relationship between a firm's choice of contractual forms and (a) the attributes of the activity (e.g., specificity of technical skills and physical assets, frequency of operations, and uncertainty in controlling performance quality) and (b) characteristics of the firm (e.g., company size). Data from a survey of forest companies in the Province are used to test several hypotheses. The empirical results confirm the transaction cost logic that silvicultural activities performed in-house are likely those that are complex to manage, have a low degree of seasonality, require high levels of human skills, and involve highly specialized physical assets. For. Sci. 45(2):272-279.

Keywords: Contractual forms; forest policy; forestry institutions

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Forest Economics and Policy Analysis Research Unit, University of British Columbia, Forest Sciences Centre, 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4--Phone: (604) 822-2193, Fax: (604) 822-6970

Publication date: 1999-05-01

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.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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