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Ecological Afforestation in China: A Market-based Approach


  • Xu, Jintao
  • Zhang, Haipeng
  • Bennett, Jeffrey W.
  • Wang, Xuehong
  • Eigenraam, Mark


This article focuses on the program of Ecological Afforestation on barren lands, degraded arable lands, harvested sites and sloped farmland in Sichuan, China. Farmers were given the opportunity to propose afforestation activities for which they would be paid an specified amount. These bids and predictions of the expected environmental benefits to be generated were used to assess the net benefit of each proposal. Most features of the bidding scheme were successfully implemented and improvements in the economic efficiency of the afforestation scheme were observed. The market-based approach is demonstrated to be a practical way forward for Ecological Afforestation in China. The bidding scheme showed savings of approximately 110,000 Yuan when compared to past grant based programs. However, the bidding scheme is shown to increase the transaction costs of achieving the policy goal, by about 30 per cent compared to the previous ‘command and control’ regime. When transaction costs are accounted for there are still cost savings when compared to the command and control approach. Finding effective methods to reduce transaction costs will be key to any future implementation of the Ecological Afforestation bidding scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Xu, Jintao & Zhang, Haipeng & Bennett, Jeffrey W. & Wang, Xuehong & Eigenraam, Mark, 2011. "Ecological Afforestation in China: A Market-based Approach," 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia 100735, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare11:100735

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    1. Xuehong Wang & Jeff Bennett & Jintao Xu & Haipeng Zhang, 2011. "An auction scheme for land use change in Sichuan Province, China," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(10), pages 1269-1288, November.

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    Environmental Economics and Policy;

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