Brian and JinggangThe August issue of Forest Policy and Economics contains not one but two papers by recent CERE grads Jinggang Guo and Brian Danley. Jinggang, specializing in forest sector modelling, defended his thesis on October 12, 2018. Just a few months later on January 25, 2019, Brian Danley defended his thesis on ecosystem services and forest policy. Apart from publishing in the same issue of the same journal, and defending in close proximity, they have also both chosen to spend the next chapter of their research careers in the US.

Economists often study self-organizing systems in which participants’ behavior is coordinated based on a set of principles, like supply and demand, without explicit cooperation between participants. As Adam Smith famously observed, by taking cues from market prices and pursuing their own self-interest, buyers and sellers pursue courses of action that may appear as if they are guided by an invisible hand. It may have been the magic of uncoordinated organization at work when recent CERE graduates Jinggang Guo and Brian Danley both published their research papers in the same issue of the same journal and choose the same country as their next research destination. (Click on headline to read more)

Both new doctors will continue their research in the United States. Jinggang Guo is currently a postdoc at the University of Wisconsin working on forest sector modelling. Brian Danley will be a visiting researcher at the Family Forest Research Center at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in fall 2019. During his visit, Brian will work with Dr. Brett Butler and do research on the latest round of results from the United States National Woodland Owner Survey.

Jinggang’s paper focuses on the impacts of increasing fuelwood demand on the Swedish forest sector and highlights the importance of market linkages in evaluating such impacts using a partial market equilibrium framework. As an important source of feedstock for bioenergy production, demand for fuelwood is expected to increase in Sweden. This poses a threat to sawlog and pulpwood production, since to some extent they can be used as a substitute for fuelwood. The results find that the increased fuelwood demand will intensify the competition between pulpwood and fuelwood, and pulp-based industry sector would be worse off while the sawlog sector would be the winner. It is worth noting that fuelwood as an energy source would lose its price advantage when its demand reaches higher levels. Subsidies policies need to be put in place to reduce fuelwood costs for users.

Read Jinggangs paper - time-limited free access

Brian’s paper explores the idea that different kinds of forest policy instruments will appeal to different kinds of forest owners. Since forest owners are becoming a more diverse group should governments tailor specific forest policy instruments to different kinds of forest owners? For example, are owners who are interested in making profit from their forests interested in different kinds of policy instruments compared owners who are interested in recreation? The research finds that any given forest policy instrument engages multiple kinds of forest owners in nature conservation. Rather surprisingly, owners who want income from their forests are no more interested in a proposed subsidy than other forest owners. It is certainly the case that family forest owners are becoming more diverse as a group, but these results suggest that governments may be better advised to make any given forest policy instrument compatible with multiple kinds of ownership objectives instead of designing individual policy instruments with specific kinds of owners in mind for each instrument.

Read Brians paper - time-limited free access 

The freely available pre-print of Brian’s paper: “Forest owner objectives typologies: Instruments for each owner type or instruments for most owner types?

Coming events