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Nonconstant Risk Attitudes and Timber Harvesting

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This article explores the effects of risk attitudes on the harvesting behavior of forest landowners. In particular, the effects of changing risk behavior on the forest owners' optimal harvesting decisions are studied under timber price uncertainty. With a theoretical model introducing an endogenous risk premium and addressing nonconstant risk attitudes, it is shown how the commonly predicted increase of wealth among nonindustrial private forest owners can have profound effects on harvesting behavior and timber supply from the private forest sector. For example, the model predicts that if landowners' aversion toward risk declines with increasing wealth, the standing timber stock in nonindustrial private forests will increase in the future, and the intensity of timber harvests declines. Contrary to now-popular timber harvest models, these results are obtained without dividing the benefits of forest into timber and nontimber ones. FOR. SCI. 48(3):459–470.

Keywords: Nonindustrial private forest owners; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; renewable natural resource; risk aversion; timber supply

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Department of Forest Economics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27 Finland, FIN-00014,

Publication date: 2002-08-01

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

    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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