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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of some British Columbia forest tenures on the distribution of economic rents, the allocation of resources, and the investments in silviculture Luckert, Martin Karl


Canadian forest tenures serve as policy tools which have important economic implications. This study analyzes the effect of some British Columbia forest tenures on the distribution of economic rents, the allocation of resources, and silvicultural investments. The thesis first identifies the problem governments face, as landlords, in attempting to specify an optimum tenure. Tenures may be described in terms of packages of individual characteristics, each of which may be controlled, to varying degrees, by governments. The problem governments face is choosing an optimal combination of specified characteristics. Several problems emerge in the specification of individual tenure characteristics and their aggregation into whole optimum tenures. The specification of any one optimum tenure characteristic requires political value judgments implicit in social welfare functions. Furthermore, interdependencies exist between tenure characteristics which make difficult the aggregation of optimally specified characteristics into an optimum tenure. The interdependencies between tenure characteristics provide the basis for two hypotheses. First, every tenure characteristic may influence the benefits of tenure holders. Second, tenure holders may expect their tenures to change, which may influence the future benefits that they receive. By testing these hypotheses, the effect of tenures on the distribution of rents and allocation of resources are analyzed. To test these hypotheses, tenure holders in British Columbia were interviewed to obtain empirical measurements of the effects of attenuations of tenure characteristics on benefits of tenure holders, and the security tenure holders perceive in their tenures. Results support both hypotheses and show how tenures are distributing rents and allocating resources. The study also investigates the effects of tenures on investments in silviculture. Tenure holders in British Columbia are surveyed to determine amounts spent on silviculture on selected tenure types. It is found that tenure holders which have incentives for voluntary investments in silviculture spend significantly greater amounts than those who make expenditures which are reimbursed or mandatory. Using the results of this study, recent changes in British Columbia forest policy are critiqued and areas for further research are identified.

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