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A Policy Evaluation of the Direct Payment Scheme for Collective Stewardship of Common Property Resources in Japan

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  • Ito, Junichi
  • Feuer, Hart N.
  • Kitano, Shinichi
  • Komiyama, Midori

Abstract

The extent to which Payments for Environmental/Ecosystem Services (PES) programs help to promote collective stewardship of common property resources (CPRs) has been gaining attention among scholars and practitioners. One of the main concerns related to collective arrangements is that a crowding-out effect is likely to emerge when the external intervention dominates over self-determination and self-esteem of PES participants. By contrast, when participants perceive the intervention to be supportive of existing efforts, it “crowds in” intrinsic motivation. We test this contested hypothesis using prefectural data from Japan's Census of Agriculture and Forestry. In order to set up a viable quasi-experimental policy evaluation, we employ a propensity score matching approach. Our empirical result suggests that financial incentives can have a positive causal effect on collective stewardship of CPRs. This means that the potential crowding-out effect, if any, is not so profound as to expunge additional extrinsic motivation provided by the government's direct payments. Another important finding is that pre-existing social cohesiveness at the community level serves as a facilitator for PES participation. It should be noted, however, that the degree of cohesiveness in rural communities is largely a byproduct of historical experience that lies outside the immediate control of the government.

Suggested Citation

  • Ito, Junichi & Feuer, Hart N. & Kitano, Shinichi & Komiyama, Midori, 2018. "A Policy Evaluation of the Direct Payment Scheme for Collective Stewardship of Common Property Resources in Japan," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 141-151.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:152:y:2018:i:c:p:141-151
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.05.029
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    Cited by:

    1. Ito, Junichi & Feuer, Hart N. & Kitano, Shinichi & Asahi, Haruka, 2019. "Assessing the effectiveness of Japan's community-based direct payment scheme for hilly and mountainous areas," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 62-75.
    2. Nitta, Atomu & Yamamoto, Yasutaka & Kondo, Katsunobu & Sawauchi, Daisuke, 2020. "Direct payments to Japanese farmers: Do they reduce rice income inequality? Lessons for other Asian countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 968-981.
    3. Matthew Kotchen & Kathleen Segerson, 2020. "The Use of Group-Level Approaches to Environmental and Natural Resource Policy," NBER Working Papers 27142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Shinichi Kitano, 2021. "Estimation of Determinants of Farmland Abandonment and Its Data Problems," Land, MDPI, vol. 10(6), pages 1-17, June.
    5. Shinichi Kitano, 2020. "Formation Factors and Effects on Common Property Resource Conservation of Community Farms," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(12), pages 1-19, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Motivation crowding; Collective action; Payments for environmental services; Propensity score matching;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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