Financialization, Shareholder Value, and the Transformation of Timberland Ownership in North America
In the last couple decades, significant portions of US timberlands previously held by vertically integrated corporations have been sold off to institutional investors (known as TIMOs and REITs). This paper explains the causes as well as the social and ecological implications of this transformation through a multi-level analysis that combines macrostructural theories of financialization with the shareholder value conception of control in corporate governance. Bringing this integrated perspective to bear on the industrial timber sector and its landownership practices illuminates both how financialization is built through specific institutional practices and how such practices are equally shaped by the broader structural pressures of financialization. By focusing on the so-called ‘real’ effects of financialization through shareholder value in a particular natural resource sector, we begin to outline the construction of an ecological political economy of financialization. We argue that an ecological political economy would address the broader effects of financialization on socio-ecological transformations.
Andrew Gunnoe and Paul K. Gellert. "Financialization, Shareholder Value, and the Transformation of Timberland Ownership in North America" Critical Sociology 37.2 (2011): 1-24.