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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  

Matt Bonds

University of Georgia - Odum School of Ecology

Danny R. Hughes

Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

Date Written: June 20, 2007

Abstract

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

Bonds, Matt and Hughes, Danny R., On the Productivity of Public Forests: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis of Mississippi School Trust Timber Production (June 20, 2007). Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 55, No. 2, pp. 171-183, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1975003

Matt Bonds (Contact Author)

University of Georgia - Odum School of Ecology ( email )

Athens, GA 30602
706.542.3580 (Phone)

Danny R. Hughes

Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute ( email )

1891 Preston White Drive
Reston, VA 20191
United States

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