Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 31 > Issue 1

Comparing forest sector modelling and qualitative foresight analysis: Cases on wood products industry

Elias Hurmekoski, European Forest Institute, Finland, , Hanne K. Sjølie, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway,
Suggested Citation
Elias Hurmekoski and Hanne K. Sjølie (2018), "Comparing forest sector modelling and qualitative foresight analysis: Cases on wood products industry", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 31: No. 1, pp 11-16.

Publication Date: 0/4/2018
© 0 2018 Elias Hurmekoski, Hanne K. Sjølie
foresightpartial equilibrium modellingNorForwood products


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In this article:
Methods and data 
Case studies 
Results and discussion 


Scenario analyses are widely used in forest sector foresight studies, being typically based on either qualitative or quantitative approaches. As scenario analyses are used for informing decision-makers, it is of interest to contrast the similarities and differences between the scenario processes and outcomes using quantitative and qualitative approaches and to explore the underlying causes of differences. This paper uses the output from a qualitative scenario study to design forest sector model (FSM) scenarios and compares the results from the two approaches. We analyse two cases on wood products markets in Norway: i) Wood products suppliers establish a developer firm specializing on wood construction to boost demand, and ii) Levying a carbon tax while reducing CO2 emissions in cement production. Comparing the qualitative studies (innovation diffusion analysis, backcasting and Delphi) and FSM analyses (NorFor model), the results resemble for case ii) but deviate strongly for case i). Notably, the strategy aiming to boost the demand for domestic wood products leads in NorFor mainly to an increase in imports with limited impact on Norwegian sawnwood production. Causes of the discrepancies are discussed. Despite the challenges of combining the two frameworks, we believe that the method where assumptions based on stakeholder input or other qualitative research approaches are elaborated in a FSM and compared, should be more explored. Importantly, applying various methods and frameworks allows for complementing and diversifying the picture, and thus improving the knowledge base.