IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Incentivizing Cooperative Agreements for Sustainable Forest Management: Experimental Tests of Alternative Structures and Institutional Rules


  • David McEvoy
  • Michael Jones
  • Michael McKee
  • John Talberth


Non-industrial private forestland owners (NIPFs) manage the majority of US forestland. But land use conversion is highest amongst this group, in part due to the relative paucity of income earned from active forest management relative to sale of land to developers. Cooperative forest management agreements can help reduce this differential, but participation remains low. If structured well, these agreements can provide opportunities for long term payments from sales of timber and ecosystem services at levels sufficient to reduce the temptation to convert. In this paper we investigate various means of encouraging meaningful participation in cooperative agreements for forests that emphasize conservation. We report on the results obtained through a series of laboratory market experiments in which the participants play the role of NIPFs and make resource allocation decisions facing real financial incentives. Our results shed light on the relative factors that affect the success of these agreements. In particular, we find that when agreements include contribution thresholds (with money back guarantees) coupled with relatively long contract lengths, groups are able to preserve a significant fraction of forested lands through conservation agreements. Key Words: conservation agreement, participation, economic laboratory experiment

Suggested Citation

  • David McEvoy & Michael Jones & Michael McKee & John Talberth, 2013. "Incentivizing Cooperative Agreements for Sustainable Forest Management: Experimental Tests of Alternative Structures and Institutional Rules," Working Papers 13-23, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:13-23

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Talberth & Robert P. Berrens & Michael Mckee & Michael Jones, 2006. "Averting And Insurance Decisions In The Wildland-Urban Interface: Implications Of Survey And Experimental Data For Wildfire Risk Reduction Policy," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(2), pages 203-223, April.
    2. Smith, Rodney B. W. & Shogren, Jason F., 2002. "Voluntary Incentive Design for Endangered Species Protection," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 169-187, March.
    3. Goldman, Rebecca L. & Thompson, Barton H. & Daily, Gretchen C., 2007. "Institutional incentives for managing the landscape: Inducing cooperation for the production of ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 333-343, December.
    4. David M. McEvoy & James J. Murphy & John M. Spraggon & John K. Stranlund, 2011. "The problem of maintaining compliance within stable coalitions: experimental evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 475-498, July.
    5. Warziniack, Travis & Shogren, Jason F. & Parkhurst, Gregory, 2007. "Creating contiguous forest habitat: An experimental examination on incentives and communication," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 191-207, August.
    6. Marks, Melanie & Croson, Rachel, 1998. "Alternative rebate rules in the provision of a threshold public good: An experimental investigation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 195-220, February.
    7. Parkhurst, Gregory M. & Shogren, Jason F. & Bastian, Chris & Kivi, Paul & Donner, Jennifer & Smith, Rodney B. W., 2002. "Agglomeration bonus: an incentive mechanism to reunite fragmented habitat for biodiversity conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 305-328, May.
    8. Raunikar, Ronald & Buongiorno, Joseph, 2006. "Willingness to pay for forest amenities: The case of non-industrial owners in the south central United States," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 132-143, January.
    9. David McEvoy, 2010. "Not it: opting out of voluntary coalitions that provide a public good," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 9-23, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Lukas Giessen & Pradip Kumar Sarker & Md Saifur Rahman, 2016. "International and Domestic Sustainable Forest Management Policies: Distributive Effects on Power among State Agencies in Bangladesh," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-28, April.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:apl:wpaper:13-23. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (O. Ashton Morgan). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.