Policy-Relevant Nonconvexities in the Production of Multiple Forest Benefits?
This paper challenges common assumptions about convexity in forest rotation models which optimize timber plus nontimber benefits. If a local optimum occurs earlier than the globally optimal age, policy based on marginal incentives may achieve suboptimal results. Policy-relevant nonconvexities are more likely if (i) nontimber benefits dominate for young stands while the optimal age depends primarily on timber benefits, or (ii) nontimber benefits dominate for mature stands and also determine the optimal age. Nonconvexities may create either temporary or persistent difficulties. Policymakers may improve efficiency by exploiting the relationship between the timber-only optimum and the global optimum.