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Poverty and Employment in Forest-Dependent Counties

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Abstract:



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

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