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Non-industrial private forest ownership returns and risks in Finland are both estimated and disaggregated to local Forestry Board Districts (FBD) level. Additionally, the FBD level return is divided into price change, felling and change in the growing stock components, which are compared with the inflation rate. The results are based on a complete count of the stumpage prices, silvicultural costs and state subsidies as well as the National Forest Inventory (NFI) data. The influence of taxation is discussed as well. Although this database is excellent for economic studies as well, the estimation methodology is vitiated by a host of problems, the resolution of which is the major contribution of this study. The study period is 1972–1996. The results show that there have been fairly large differences in forest ownership returns and prices depending on the Forestry Board District. Results show that the price change component has been larger in Northern Forestry Board Districts, as much as 0.9% above the inflation rate in Lapland FBD, than in Southern Forestry Board Districts, 1.5% less than the inflation rate in southern Helsinki FBD. The net increase, however, has been larger in Southern Forestry Board Districts than in Northern Forestry Board Districts. Using the average net increment in Finland as a comparison base, the net increment in South Karelia exceeded it by 0.6%, but fell below it by 1.8% in Northeastern Finland. Finally, the return over the whole period is compared to the return on private housing and inflation in the case of North Savo. In all, the estimation methodology developed also serves as spin-off product development for the Forest Statistics Information Service (FSIS).
Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, Centre for Doctoral Programme, Runeberginkatu 15 A, FIN-00100 Helsinki, Finland
Finnish Forest Research Institute, Helsinki Research Centre, Unioninkatu 40 A, FIN-00170 Helsinki, Finland