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When are Payments for Environmental Services Beneficial to the Poor?

Author

Listed:
  • David Zilberman

    (University of California at Berkeley)

  • Leslie Lipper

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Nancy McCarthy

    (International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI)

Abstract

The impact of payment for environmental services (PES) on poverty varies. Generally, PES is good for landowners and may negatively affect consumers if food demand is inelastic. Impacts also depend on the correlation between poverty and environmental amenities. If the richer farmers also provide the best environmental services (ES), then the poor farmers may lose. If there is negative correlation between ES and productivity, then the poorer landowners may gain from ES. The distribution of land matters. If smallholders depend on earnings from work on larger farms, then PES may affect them negatively. Program specifications also matter. Working land programs may have better distributional effects then PES for land diversion.

Suggested Citation

  • David Zilberman & Leslie Lipper & Nancy McCarthy, 2006. "When are Payments for Environmental Services Beneficial to the Poor?," Working Papers 06-04, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  • Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0604
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Payments for environmental services; poverty; conservation; land use change; market-based mechanisms.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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