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Cash for Carbon: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Payments for Ecosystem Services to Reduce Deforestation

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  • Jayachandran, Seema
  • Laat, Joost de
  • Lambin, Eric F.
  • Stanton, Charlotte

Abstract

This paper evaluates a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) program in western Uganda that offered forest-owning households cash payments if they conserved their forest. The program was implemented as a randomized trial in 121 villages, 60 of which received the program for two years. The PES program reduced deforestation and forest degradation: Tree cover, measured using high-resolution satellite imagery, declined by 2% to 5% in treatment villages compared to 7% to 10% in control villages during the study period. We find no evidence of shifting of tree-cutting to nearby land. We then use the estimated effect size and the social cost of carbon to value the delayed CO2 emissions, and compare this benefit to the program's cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayachandran, Seema & Laat, Joost de & Lambin, Eric F. & Stanton, Charlotte, 2016. "Cash for Carbon: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Payments for Ecosystem Services to Reduce Deforestation," CEPR Discussion Papers 11349, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11349
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    1. repec:eee:ecoser:v:23:y:2017:i:c:p:238-247 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:498-517 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:359-374 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Solomon Hsiang & Paulina Oliva & Reed Walker, 2017. "The Distribution of Environmental Damages," NBER Working Papers 23882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change; conditional cash transfers; deforestation; REDD+;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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