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Liquidity Constraints and Deforestation: The Limitations of Payments for Ecosystem Services

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  • Seema Jayachandran

Abstract

A popular environmental policy is to pay forest owners for avoiding deforestation on their land. This is an example of "payments for ecosystem services" (PES). This paper shows that liquidity constraints can limit the effectiveness of PES programs. If an individual would have cut down trees to sell them, his opportunity costs are more front-loaded than the stream of PES income. If credit constrained, he might decline the program even if the net present value (NPV) of the PES income exceeds the NPV of his opportunity costs. I present evidence consistent with this prediction using data on forest owners in Uganda.

Suggested Citation

  • Seema Jayachandran, 2013. "Liquidity Constraints and Deforestation: The Limitations of Payments for Ecosystem Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 309-313, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:3:p:309-13
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.309
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/ds/may2013/P2013_4362_ds.zip
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul J. Ferraro & R. David Simpson, 2002. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Conservation Payments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(3), pages 339-353.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gwenolé Le Velly & Alexandre Sauquet & Sergio Cortina-Villar, 2017. "PES Impact and Leakages over Several Cohorts: The Case of the PSA-H in Yucatan, Mexico," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 93(2), pages 230-257.
    2. Jones, Kelly W. & Muñoz Brenes, Carlos L. & Shinbrot, Xoco A. & López-Báez, Walter & Rivera-Castañeda, Andrómeda, 2018. "The influence of cash and technical assistance on household-level outcomes in payments for hydrological services programs in Chiapas, Mexico," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 31(PA), pages 208-218.
    3. Liu, Zhaoyang & Kontoleon, Andreas, 2018. "Meta-Analysis of Livelihood Impacts of Payments for Environmental Services Programmes in Developing Countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 48-61.
    4. Gwenolé Le Velly & Céline Dutilly, 2016. "Evaluating Payments for Environmental Services: Methodological Challenges," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(2), pages 1-20, February.
    5. Jose-Antonio Espin-Sanchez & Javier Donna, 2014. "The Illiquidity of Water Markets," 2014 Meeting Papers 1247, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Ma, Zhao & Bauchet, Jonathan & Steele, Diana & Godoy, Ricardo & Radel, Claudia & Zanotti, Laura, 2017. "Comparison of Direct Transfers for Human Capital Development and Environmental Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 498-517.
    7. Nicolas Quérou & Antoine Soubeyran & Raphael Soubeyran, 2015. "Moral hazard and capability," Working Papers hal-02795218, HAL.
    8. Seema Jayachandran & Joost de Laat & Eric F. Lambin & Charlotte Y. Stanton, 2016. "Cash for Carbon: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Payments for Ecosystem Services to Reduce Deforestation," NBER Working Papers 22378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Börner, Jan & Baylis, Kathy & Corbera, Esteve & Ezzine-de-Blas, Driss & Honey-Rosés, Jordi & Persson, U. Martin & Wunder, Sven, 2017. "The Effectiveness of Payments for Environmental Services," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 359-374.
    10. Jones, Kelly W. & Avila Foucat, Sophie & Pischke, Erin C. & Salcone, Jacob & Torrez, David & Selfa, Theresa & Halvorsen, Kathleen E., 2019. "Exploring the connections between participation in and benefits from payments for hydrological services programs in Veracruz State, Mexico," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 32-42.
    11. Alix-Garcia, Jennifer & Wolff, Hendrik, 2014. "Payment for Ecosystem Services from Forests," IZA Discussion Papers 8179, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Palmer, Charles & Taschini, Luca & Laing, Timothy, 2017. "Getting more ‘carbon bang’ for your ‘buck’ in Acre State, Brazil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 214-227.
    13. Erin C. Pischke & Adam M. Wellstead, 0. "Reimagining instrument constituencies: the case of conservation policy in Mexico," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 0, pages 1-18.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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