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The Devil in the Detail: A Practical Guide on Designing Payments for Environmental Services

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  • Engel, Stefanie

Abstract

Payments for environmental services (PES) have become a popular approach to address environmental degradation. However, evidence on its effectiveness is scarce and rather mixed. PES is not a panacea, but there are many cases where PES can be a promising tool. Yet, poor PES design translates into poor performance of the instrument. PES design is a complex task; the devil is in the detail of a number of PES design features. The purpose of this paper is to provide guidance in dealing with this complexity through a comprehensive review of PES design that is accessible to both academics and practitioners. Practitioner guidelines on deciding whether PES is the best approach and for selecting among alternative design features are presented. PES design has to start from a careful understanding of the specific ecological and socio-economic context. We now know a lot about which design features are best suited to which context. It is time to put these insights into practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Engel, Stefanie, 2016. "The Devil in the Detail: A Practical Guide on Designing Payments for Environmental Services," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 9(1-2), pages 131-177, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:jirere:101.00000076
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/101.00000076
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    1. repec:eee:ecolec:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:110-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:48-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:347-358 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:95-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:168-177 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:ecoser:v:29:y:2018:i:pa:p:116-127 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Drechsler, Martin, 2017. "Performance of Input- and Output-based Payments for the Conservation of Mobile Species," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 49-56.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:359-374 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:ejores:v:267:y:2018:i:1:p:368-380 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Payments for Environmental Services; Ecosystem Services; PES; Policy Design;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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