Three Essays on Wildland Fire Economics
Type of Degreedissertation
Forest Economics and Policy
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This dissertation consists of three manuscripts examining different aspects of wildland fire economics, with a specific focus on prescribed burning and expenditures made by the USDA Forest Service on wildland fire suppression. The first chapter uses data from the Forest Service to estimate the effects of prescribed burning treatments on fire suppression expenditures. This is accomplished using an instrumental variable model that first observes how prescribed burning impacts area burned and then how area burned impacts suppression expenditures. In the second chapter a demand system is estimated using Forest Service accounting records. The demand system provides a better understanding of the tradeoffs between different categories of fire suppression resources. The final chapter uses a dynamic programming technique to examine the impact of carbon pricing on the optimal level of prescribed burning.