Economics of forest production

Cameron Laird claird at
Wed Jul 1 12:43:52 EST 1992


        Vincent, Jeffrey R.
        1992    "The Tropical Timber Trade and Sustainable
                Development", Science, volume 256, pages
                1651-1655 (19 June 1992)

appears a readable review of recent economic analyses.
The author considers the evidence that the "boom-and-
bust export pattern [is due to] ... demand by developed
countries, high import barriers, and low international
wood prices."  He finds none of these explanations
tenable:  "[i]n fact, it is rooted in tropical
countries' own policies related to timber concessions
and wood-processing industries."

Another highlight:  "... for every $2,200-per-year saw-
mill job generated by log-export restrictions during
1973 through 1989, the region gave up $6,100 in economic
value added and $16,600 in export earnings ..."

The author concludes that "sustainable development of a
tropical country's economy" can most readily be ap-
proached by policy rationalizations within that country.
Many of the changes will be familiar to students of
agricultural history:  strengthening the tenure of "con-
cessions" in their renewability and transferability,
linking prices and values more closely, and so on.

I have crossposted this notice to soc.culture.filipino
because the subject has become so topical.  Press re-
ports of President Ramos' first speeches have emphasized
themes which suggest that some of these reforms might be
imminent in the Philippines.

*Science* is generally available in even the most modest
English-speaking and/or scientific libraries.

Cameron Laird
claird at ( at	+1 713 267 7966
claird at ( at  	+1 713 996 8546

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