On the Productivity of Public Forests: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis of Mississippi School Trust Timber Production
Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 171-183, 2007
13 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2011
Date Written: June 20, 2007
This paper presents the results of a stochastic frontier analysis on the technical efficiency of school trust timber production in Mississippi. The state of Mississippi has a 200-year history of managing public trust lands designated to generate funds for public schools. Local school boards became the trustees of sixteenth section lands in the 1970s and have since supervised substantial increases in timber receipts. The majority of the timber management services are contracted to the Mississippi Forestry Commission (MFC) — a state agency responsible for, among other things, overseeing sixteenth section timber management. The school districts and the MFC are legally required to maximize revenue from these lands. However, school districts are also legally permitted to outsource forestry services to private vendors and do so on a regular basis by recommendation from the MFC. This paper finds that the average technical efficiency of the sixteenth section lands is 46%, and there is a positive and statistically significant increase in total timber receipts when a higher proportion of management services are outsourced.
Keywords: productivity, efficiency, timber, forest management
JEL Classification: Q23, L33, D24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation