Poverty and Employment in Forest-Dependent Counties

Authors: Berck, P.1; Costello, C.2; Fortmann, L.3; Hoffmann, S.4

Source: Forest Science, Volume 49, Number 5, October 2003 , pp. 763-777(15)

Publisher: Society of American Foresters

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One of the most controversial aspects of federal and state policies aimed at protecting old-growth ecosystems is the potential effect of job losses on local economic conditions. A fundamental question for historically forest-dependent areas is whether these policies will result in local economic stagnation and enduring pockets of poverty. This study uses monthly, multicounty time series data to estimate a vector autoregressive model of the experience of northern California counties during the 1980s and 1990s. It examines the long-run impact of changes in timber-related employment on other employment and participation in major federal poverty programs. It finds that employment base-multiplier effects of timber employment on other county employment are small and state economic conditions rather than local employment conditions are the principal driver behind local poverty. FOR. SCI. 49(5):763–777.

Keywords: Forest policy; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; old-growth; vector autoregressive analysis

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Professor Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 94720-3310, Phone: 510-642-7238; Fax: 510-643-8911 pberck@uclink4.berkeley.edu 2: Assistant Professor Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif., 93106, Phone: (805) 893-5802 costello@bren.ucsb.edu 3: Rudy Grah Professor of Forestry and Sustainable Development Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, 94720, (510) 642-7018 fortmann@nature.berkeley.edu 4: Fellow Resources for the Future, 1616 P St. NW, Washington, DC, 20036, Phone: 202-328-5022 hoffmann@rff.org

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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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