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A meta-analysis on wood trade flow modeling concepts

  • Mathieu, Valentin
  • Roda, Jean-Marc
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2023
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Papers on forests and forest products often address sustainability and climate change issues. Wood trade flow models study production and exchanges of wood products in order to better understand and analyze these issues. To date, there has not been a complete overview of these models' objectives, or of the wood trade flow factors they use. We expect wood trade flow models with different objectives to rely on a wide diversity of factors. We performed a meta-analysis on 499 publications about wood trade flow modeling, published between 1972 and 2022 and recorded in the Scopus database. We found that three groups of model objectives constitute most of the literature: understanding trade mechanisms (5% of the literature), forecasting trends (9%), and policy analysis (99%). There is a degree of overlap between these categories, as 14% of the literature uses wood trade flow models for at least two of the latter objectives. Within the category of models exploring or simulating policies, about 37% of papers address major economic disruption issues, 40% concern environmental issues, while 49% relate to energy, welfare or trade policies. Altogether, these models use a narrow set of four categories of factors: price factors (6% of the literature), the interdependency of production factors (11%), policy factors (15%), and stock and trade quantity factors (49%), neglecting other possible factors. This study provides the first comprehensive overview and categorization of the models' objectives in relation to their factors. Most importantly, the literature rarely uses certain factors that are considered in other commodities or economic sectors. In particular, the central role of urban dynamics in shaping material trade flows remains unexplored overall by wood trade flow modeling. Compared to the perception of what the driving forces of the forest sector economics have been in recent decades, new issues that have risen require the integration of new categories of factors.

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