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Conditional Cash Transfers and Payments for Environmental Services: A Conceptual Framework for Explaining and Judging Differences in Outcomes

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  • Persson, U. Martin
  • Alpizar, Francisco

Abstract

Despite the recent popularity of conditional cash transfers (CCT) and payments for environmental services (PES) programs, what determines their success is not well understood. We developed a conceptual framework to give insight into some of the main determinants of CCT and PES program efficiency that hope to increase investments in human and environmental capital. We used a simple agent-based model and validated the results with empirical data from existing programs. We show that 1) the share of participants who meet the program’s conditions at baseline is a powerful predictor of program efficiency, (2) and selection bias erodes program efficiency to a large extent. (Selection bias stems from agents who already meet program criteria and who self-select into programs at higher rates than those who do not meet the conditions.) Based on these results, we discuss possibilities for improving efficiency—mainly by targeting applicants or increasing payments—and criteria for evaluating and choosing CCT, PES, or other policy instruments.

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  • Persson, U. Martin & Alpizar, Francisco, 2011. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Payments for Environmental Services: A Conceptual Framework for Explaining and Judging Differences in Outcomes," Discussion Papers dp-11-06-efd, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-11-06-efd
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    Cited by:

    1. Gwenolé Le Velly & Alexandre Sauquet & Sergio Cortina-Villar, 2017. "PES Impact and Leakages over Several Cohorts: The Case of the PSA-H in Yucatan, Mexico," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 93(2), pages 230-257.
    2. Cicelin Rakotomahazo & Jacqueline Razanoelisoa & Nirinarisoa Lantoasinoro Ranivoarivelo & Gildas Georges Boleslas Todinanahary & Eulalie Ranaivoson & Mara Edouard Remanevy & Lalao Aigrette Ravaoarinor, 2021. "Community Perceptions of a Payment for Ecosystem Services Project in Southwest Madagascar: A Preliminary Study," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(6), pages 1-19, June.
    3. Lundberg, Liv & Persson, U. Martin & Alpizar, Francisco & Lindgren, Kristian, 2018. "Context Matters: Exploring the Cost-effectiveness of Fixed Payments and Procurement Auctions for PES," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 347-358.
    4. Gatiso, Tsegaye T. & Vollan, Björn & Nuppenau, Ernst-August, 2015. "Resource scarcity and democratic elections in commons dilemmas: An experiment on forest use in Ethiopia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 199-207.
    5. Mohebalian, Phillip M. & Aguilar, Francisco X., 2018. "Design of tropical forest conservation contracts considering risk of deforestation," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 451-462.
    6. Ito, Junichi & Feuer, Hart N. & Kitano, Shinichi & Asahi, Haruka, 2019. "Assessing the effectiveness of Japan's community-based direct payment scheme for hilly and mountainous areas," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 62-75.
    7. Cho, Seong-Hoon & Soh, Moonwon & English, Burton C. & Yu, T. Edward & Boyer, Christopher N., 2019. "Targeting payments for forest carbon sequestration given ecological and economic objectives," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 214-226.
    8. Mohebalian, Phillip M. & Aguilar, Francisco X., 2016. "Additionality and design of forest conservation programs: Insights from Ecuador's Socio Bosque Program," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 103-114.
    9. Sharma, Bijay P. & Cho, Seong-Hoon & Yu, T. Edward, 2019. "Designing cost-efficient payments for forest-based carbon sequestration: An auction-based modeling approach," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 182-194.
    10. Jan Börner & Eduardo Marinho & Sven Wunder, 2015. "Mixing Carrots and Sticks to Conserve Forests in the Brazilian Amazon: A Spatial Probabilistic Modeling Approach," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(2), pages 1-20, February.
    11. Jan Börner & Kathy Baylis & Esteve Corbera & Driss Ezzine-de-Blas & Paul J Ferraro & Jordi Honey-Rosés & Renaud Lapeyre & U Martin Persson & Sven Wunder, 2016. "Emerging Evidence on the Effectiveness of Tropical Forest Conservation," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(11), pages 1-11, November.
    12. Oliveira Fiorini, Ana Carolina & Mullally, Conner & Swisher, Marilyn & Putz, Francis E., 2020. "Forest cover effects of payments for ecosystem services: Evidence from an impact evaluation in Brazil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 169(C).
    13. Gwenolé Le Velly & Céline Dutilly, 2016. "Evaluating Payments for Environmental Services: Methodological Challenges," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(2), pages 1-20, February.
    14. Philippe Delacote & Gwenolé Le Velly & Gabriela Simonet, 2018. "A tale of REDD+ projects. How do location and certification impact additionality?," Working Papers 1808, Chaire Economie du climat.
    15. Lliso, Bosco & Pascual, Unai & Engel, Stefanie, 2021. "On the role of social equity in payments for ecosystem services in Latin America: A practitioner perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 182(C).
    16. Francisco Alpízar & Anna Nordén & Alexander Pfaff & Juan Robalino, 2017. "Unintended Effects of Targeting an Environmental Rebate," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 67(1), pages 181-202, May.
    17. Hui Zhang & Shuang Wu & Yi Yu & Lei Lei, 2021. "Effects of payments for watershed services policy on economic growth: a case study based on the synthetic control method," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 2739-2761, February.
    18. R A Arriagada & E O Sills & P J Ferraro & S K Pattanayak, 2015. "Do Payments Pay Off? Evidence from Participation in Costa Rica’s PES Program," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(7), pages 1-17, July.
    19. Bauchet, Jonathan & Asquith, Nigel & Ma, Zhao & Radel, Claudia & Godoy, Ricardo & Zanotti, Laura & Steele, Diana & Gramig, Benjamin M. & Chong, Andrea Estrella, 2020. "The practice of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) in the Tropical Andes: Evidence from program administrators," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 45(C).
    20. Ma, Zhao & Bauchet, Jonathan & Steele, Diana & Godoy, Ricardo & Radel, Claudia & Zanotti, Laura, 2017. "Comparison of Direct Transfers for Human Capital Development and Environmental Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 498-517.
    21. Arriagada, Rodrigo & Villaseñor, Adrián & Rubiano, Eliana & Cotacachi, David & Morrison, Judith, 2018. "Analysing the impacts of PES programmes beyond economic rationale: Perceptions of ecosystem services provision associated to the Mexican case," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 29(PA), pages 116-127.
    22. Börner, Jan & Baylis, Kathy & Corbera, Esteve & Ezzine-de-Blas, Driss & Honey-Rosés, Jordi & Persson, U. Martin & Wunder, Sven, 2017. "The Effectiveness of Payments for Environmental Services," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 359-374.
    23. Campanhão, Ligia Maria Barrios & Ranieri, Victor Eduardo Lima, 2019. "Guideline framework for effective targeting of payments for watershed services," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 93-109.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    conditional cash transfer; payment for ecosystem services; program evaluation; additionality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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