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Incomplete property rights, exposure to markets and the provision of environmental services in China

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  • Bennett, Michael T.
  • Mehta, Aashish
  • Xu, Jintao

Abstract

This paper uses data from a 2003 rural survey to examine the determinants of household provision of environmental services under China's Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP), the largest payments for environmental services program in the developing world. The paper examines the determinants of plot-level survival rates of program-planted trees and grasses. It finds that household rights over retired land as well as autonomy in program decision-making (which we argue on the basis of supportive evidence are plausibly exogenous to post-retirement outcomes) have important and potentially countervailing impacts on the provision of environmental services targeted by the program. Households permitted to select what to plant obtain better program outcomes, but do not make the choices that the government would like them to, while those permitted to decide what land to retire perform worse. The analysis also finds that households more vested and experienced in agriculture and with less exposure to off-farm labor markets fare better in managing their planted trees. Significant learning-by-doing effects are also evident, suggesting that greater technical support to farmers could improve outcomes and lower program costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Bennett, Michael T. & Mehta, Aashish & Xu, Jintao, 2011. "Incomplete property rights, exposure to markets and the provision of environmental services in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 485-498.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:22:y:2011:i:4:p:485-498
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2010.12.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Qu, Futian & Kuyvenhoven, Arie & Shi, Xiaoping & Heerink, Nico, 2011. "Sustainable natural resource use in rural China: Recent trends and policies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 444-460.
    2. Liu, M. & Huang, G.H. & Liao, R.F. & Li, Y.P. & Xie, Y.L., 2013. "Fuzzy two-stage non-point source pollution management model for agricultural systems—A case study for the Lake Tai Basin, China," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 27-41.
    3. repec:eee:ecoser:v:9:y:2014:i:c:p:106-114 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; Afforestation; Land conversion;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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