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Private Information and the Allocation of Land Use Subsidies in Malawi

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  • B. Kelsey Jack

Abstract

Efficient targeting of public programs is difficult when the cost or benefit to potential recipients is private information. This study illustrates the potential of self-selection to improve allocational outcomes in the context of a program that subsidizes tree planting in Malawi. Landholders who received a tree planting contract as a result of bidding in an auction kept significantly more trees alive over a three year period than did landholders who received the contract through a lottery. The gains from targeting on private information through the auction represent a 30 percent cost savings per surviving tree for the implementing organization.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Private Information and the Allocation of Land Use Subsidies in Malawi," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 113-135, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:5:y:2013:i:3:p:113-35
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.5.3.113
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecolec:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:48-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bento, Antonio & Ho, Benjamin & Ramirez-Basora, Mario, 2015. "Optimal monitoring and offset prices in voluntary emissions markets," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 202-223.
    3. Skidmore, Samuel & Santos, Paulo & Leimona, Beria, 2014. "Targeting REDD+: An Empirical Analysis of Carbon Sequestration in Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 781-790.
    4. repec:eee:ecoser:v:35:y:2019:i:c:p:13-22 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:enreec:v:73:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-019-00335-w is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:347-358 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Luc Behaghel & Karen Macours, & Julie Subervie, 2018. "Can RCTs help improve the design of CAP," Working Papers hal-01974425, HAL.
    8. repec:kap:enreec:v:73:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-019-00330-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. B. Kelsey Jack & Paulina Oliva & Christopher Severen & Elizabeth Walker & Samuel Bell, 2015. "Technology Adoption Under Uncertainty: Take-Up and Subsequent Investment in Zambia," NBER Working Papers 21414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Luc Behaghel & Karen Macours, & Julie Subervie, 2018. "Can RCTs help improve the design of CAP," CEE-M Working Papers hal-01974425, CEE-M, Universtiy of Montpellier, CNRS, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro.
    11. Kitessa, R.J., 2018. "On the design and implementation of environmental conservation mechanisms : Evidence from field experiments," Other publications TiSEM cda8497d-6dcf-4092-b815-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    12. repec:eee:wdevel:v:116:y:2019:i:c:p:137-149 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. repec:eee:jeeman:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:130-145 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Alix-Garcia, Jennifer & Wolff, Hendrik, 2014. "Payment for Ecosystem Services from Forests," IZA Discussion Papers 8179, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. repec:eee:forpol:v:104:y:2019:i:c:p:93-109 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Romero, Miriam & Wollni, Meike & Rudolf, Katrin & Asnawi, Rosyani & Irawan, Bambang, 2019. "Promoting sustainable land use choices in Indonesia: Experimental evidence on the role of changing mindsets and structural barriers," EFForTS Discussion Paper Series 25, University of Goettingen, Collaborative Research Centre 990 "EFForTS, Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia)".
    18. Michael Greenstone & B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field," NBER Working Papers 19426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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