Forest economy in the modern sense of the term was studied on institutional level first at the Department of Forest Business Management that was established in 1951 due to a reorganization at the Faculty of Forestry of the Agricultural University. However, besides education, relatively little time and energy were devoted to research. Therefore, on the initiative of Okonom3the National Forestry Directorate (in Hungarian: OEF), the Forest Research Institute (ERTI) started research on forest economy in 1952. There was only one researcher at that time who studied the calculation of the value of forest stands. In the following years, the need for research on the profitability of certain forest disturbances became significantly stronger. International relations developed intensively. As a result of this, on the 1st of January 1964, OEF ordered the establishment of the Department of Forest Business Management at ERTI that had five researchers. The purpose of the research program was to find out methods serving for measuring economic efficiency and making it more intensive in silviculture. Researchers analyzed the operation of forest factories, the relations between productibility and wages, evaluated means of production including the forest, found out the problems of economic efficiency, studied the ways of planing at companies, developed silvicultural accounting, investigated the economical organization and the size of factories. Parts of these subjects are still topical. The change of economic management system, the establishment of large self-managing companies of vertical structure, the increasing demand for forest and other (non-wood) services were a new challenge. Thus, in the seventies and eighties, research advancing economic control and multi-purpose silviculture came to be focused on. Evaluation of forest recreation services and protective effects against erosion attracted attention also on international level. Achievements were made in forest evaluation and new concepts like “dynamic forest value” or “disturbance benefits” were created. The former equals, from the forest plot aspect, the expectable value of forest rent, depending on the actual age of the given area in the case of perpetual forest management. The latter reflects the expected annual income of an owner making silviculture management plan. Normative cost and revenue analysis of logging and silviculture costs calculation were also necessary for the different approaches to forest value calculation. In the frame of economic regulation, the most important task was research related to the operation of the Forest Fund. Economic laws that were passed in the late eighties, recent radical socioeconomic changes, and the strengthening ecological approach brought about new research tasks. We proposed a new system of Forest Fund that supported forest regeneration. We compared different forest evaluation procedures from the aspect of the purpose of logging. Taking forests into private ownership, the new forest policy and the emergence of state forest enterprises were discussed in a number of studies. Our knowledge of sustainable forest management is extended by the examination of the effects of forest disturbances on the environment. We are still making multipurpose cost calculations of logging and silviculture. However, the increase in the number of research areas has been accompanied by a significant layoff. During its 30 years history, the Department of Forest Economics has always been making efforts to solve current problems. Thus, we can understand the considerable amount of subjects and the frequent changes. The Department has to undertake this challenge in the future as well. Over the past 30 years many of our colleagues spent a longer or shorter time with us.  The following colleagues devoted themselves to this area for at least 3 years: Dr. Vilmos Farkas, Dr. László Márkus, Dr. Benjámin Illyés, Dr. József Ulreich, Dr. János Gólya, József Vincze, Dr. György Marosi, Dr. Botond Héjj, Dr. László Jámbor, Pál Ubrankovics, Dr. Csaba Mózes and István Juhász. The heads of the Department were were: Dr. Vilmos Farkas, Dr. László Márkus, Dr. Benjámin Illyés, Dr. György Marosi and the present head of the Department: Dr. Endre Schiberna.