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  • Library: Loss of future employment resulting from exporting raw logs

    Chris Garrett
    By Nico Pestel and Andrew Oswald
    Climate change is sometimes viewed as the most serious problem facing modern society. The science behind anthropogenic global warming has been understood for more than half a century. Yet relatively few economists work on topics related to climate change. What explains this (apparent) lack of interest from economists? Here we report the results of a survey to try to understand economists’ views and actions. More than 90% of respondents state that they are concerned about climate change. Our survey then asks the respondents why they have not done research on the topic. The most frequent response (given by approximately 80% of economists) is that they do not feel they have enough time and resources to be able to work on climate change. We discuss possible explanations and concerns.
    (2021) Why Do Relatively Few Economists Work on Climate Change? A Survey.pdf

    Evergreen Alliance Staff
    A position paper released by the Fraser Institute.
    Abstract: This paper develops a partial equilibrium trade model that reflects the BC Coastal log market and the international market for BC logs to analyze three possible policy options: a ban on exports, an export quota, and free trade in logs. Using 2011 market data, the model suggests that an export quota that restricts log exports to current levels is more beneficial to British Columbia than an export ban or free trade. The intuition behind this result is that limiting BC log exports allows BC log owners, as a group, to exercise market power in the international market. Sensitivity analysis suggests that the results partially hinge on how substitutable BC logs are for logs from other jurisdictions: if BC logs are very substitutable, then free trade in logs is more beneficial than an export quota.
    One thing is exceedingly clear from the analysis: an outright prohibi- tion on log exports from British Columbia, as advocated by many pundits, politicians, and interest groups, is very costly compared to all alternatives. Both free trade in logs and a quota policy allowing limited log exports are preferable to a ban on exports.
    Although free trade in logs is not the preferred policy from a BC per- spective, it certainly is from a global perspective. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean log consumers directly benefit from British Columbia allowing more log exports. This presents an opportunity. Canada is currently in talks to join the Trans Pacific Partnership, which includes Japan. There have also been calls in the media and policy circles for the commencement of trade negotiations with China in the future. It is possible that removing all restrictions on log exports as part of a trade agreement could leverage concessions of a similar size that would benefit British Columbia and Canada.
    Log Export Policy for British Columbia (2014).pdf

    Evergreen Alliance Staff
    By Gerrit Cornelis van Kooten, University of Victoria Department of Economics.
    Abstract: The government of British Columbia (BC) imposes restrictions on the export of logs from public and private forestlands, primarily to promote local processing and associated employment benefits. Most economists wholeheartedly oppose BC’s export restrictions, arguing that BC’s citizens are worse off as a result of the government’s measures. In this paper, it is shown that, while free trade in logs might well maximise global wellbeing, it might not necessarily result in the greatest benefit to BC. Indeed, both economic theory and a follow-up numerical analysis indicate that some restrictions on the export of logs can lead to higher welfare for BC than free trade. Thus, log export restrictions could be economically efficient from a local perspective, but only if the transaction costs of obtaining necessary permits are not excessive.
    Revisiting BC restrictions on log exports (2014).pdf

    Evergreen Alliance Staff
    A graduating essay submitted for the requirements of a Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree at UBC by Derek Burdikin.
    Abstract: The issue of log exports has been a topic of debate for decades in the Province of BC. With rising numbers of exports and decreasing manufacturing facilities on the coast of BC a squeeze for fibre supply is occurring. Currently the provincial government has jurisdiction over crown lands, and the exports from those lands. The economic downturn is pushing manufacturing on the coast to the brink, the average price for log to yield to the mill is $75, and the price willing to pay at manufacturing facilities is $50-60. The export logs are valued on average $80-120 and are able to support the domestic harvesting and manufacturing by selling a portion of logs at a loss.

    Evergreen Alliance Staff
    By Craig W. Shinn, USDAFS
    Abstract: Log exports have been restricted in British Columbia for over 100 years. The intent of the restriction is to use the timber in British Columbia to encourage development of forest industry, employment, and well-being in the Province. Logs have been exempted from the within-Province manufacturing rule at various times, in varying amounts, for different reasons, and by changing procedures. Although policy clearly restricts log exports, the effects are not simple. The timber industry benefits from both financial returns due to exporting and a restricted log market, while policy changes and implementation have worked to enhance the economic welfare of the Province. Realizing the intent to maintain Provincial well-being is perhaps the key to understanding the endurance of restrictive British Columbia forest policy over time and its dynamics.
    British Columbia Log Export Policy—Historical Review and Analysis (1993).pdf

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