Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
10-10: Impact of Payment for Environmental Services
Thursday, 22/Mar/2018:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Anne Larson, CIFOR, Peru
Location: MC 10-100

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Households’ Decisions to Participate in China’s Sloping Land Conversion Program and Reallocate Their Labour Times: Is There Endogeneity Bias?

Runsheng Yin1,3, Gang Lu1, Can Liu2

1Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, United States of America; 2China National Forestry Economics and Development Research Center, No. 18 East Heping Street, Beijing, 100714; 3College of Economics and Management, Zhejiang A&F University, Lin’an, 311300, China

Past impact evaluations of China’s largest ecological restoration program have assumed the absence of self-selection (endogeneity) in the likelihood and extent of participation. Using appropriate testing procedures and a panel dataset of more than 1,000 households over 11 years in two primary provinces, we found evidence of self-selection in household behavior of generating off-farm income. But the hypothesis was rejected that there was a significant self-selection component in households’ decision to participate in the program and generate farming income. Evaluations ignoring the self-section for off-farm labor were found to be biased and overly positive on program impact. Self-selection should be explicitly included, unless there is counter evidence, in any study of this kind.

Triggers and Outcomes to Collective Action in Common-Pool Resources Management: A Devolution Case of Collective Forests in China

Gunnar Kohlin1, Yuanyuan Yi2

1University of Gothenburg, Sweden; 2World Bank

This paper examines determinants and consequences of collective action in forest management in China. Since 2003, a devolution reform has given villages the right to decentralize their collectively-owned forests to households. Based on village collective decisions the following tenure types are observed and regarded “collective action”: (i) collective management in villages with the reform versus (ii) where no reform, and (iii) partnership, ie household joint management on a voluntary basis. Analyzing a two-period panel dataset of 3,000 randomly surveyed households in 256 villages, we test two hypotheses: 1) clear and secured tenure rights incentivize cooperation as transaction costs to achieving a collective action are reduced; 2) cooperation improves efficiency in allocating resources and thus has a positive impact on household income growth and poverty alleviation. The estimation considers heterogeneity in plot tenure rights, household management skills, opportunity costs, social capital, village size and pre-existing preferences (pro-cooperative or pro-independent management).

Effect Analysis of Market-based Grassland Management and Reciprocal Grassland Management: A Study on Inner Mongolian Pastoral Area

Ruxin Zhang, Mengjun Zhang, Shuhao Tan

Renmin University of China, China, People's Republic of

After the Grassland Contracting System initiated in 1990s, the traditional community-based grassland management was replaced by single-house grassland management. To achieve more efficient grassland management, two grassland management patterns were developed on the basis of the single-household management : the market-based grassland management and the reciprocal grassland management. In the market-based pattern, households re-allocate grassland resource through participating in grassland market. In the reciprocal grassland management, households jointly use grasslands through personnel negotiation. The market-based grassland management and the reciprocal grassland management have raised increasingly attention from policy and academic aspects. But the management effects of the two patterns, especially the comparative management effects of the two patterns has not been well studied . This study analyses and compares the effects of the market-based grassland management and the reciprocal grassland management from economical, ecological and social aspects using the 417 household data of Inner Mongolia collected during our field work in 2011.

Land Conservation Payments Also Conserve Communal Social Capital

Jennifer Alix-Garcia1, Katharine Sims2, Victor Hugo Orozco Olvera3, Laura Costica3, Jorge David Fernandez Medina4, Sofía Romo Monroy4

1Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.; 2Economics Department, Environmental Studies Affiliate, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA.; 3World Bank Development Impact Evaluation Unit, Washington, D.C., USA.; 4Evaluation Department, National Forestry Commission of Mexico, Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX.

Payments for Ecosystem Services programs incentivize landowners to protect or improve natural resources. Many conservationists fear that introducing compensation for actions previously offered voluntarily will reduce social capital – the institutions, relationships, attitudes, and values that govern human interactions – yet little rigorous research investigates this concern. We examined the social capital impacts of Mexico’s federal conservation payments program, one of the largest in the world. We used regression discontinuity to identify impacts, comparing outcomes for beneficiaries and similar rejected applicants close to scoring cutoffs. We found that payments increased land-cover management activities while maintaining or slightly improving pro-social work effort and social capital. These findings demonstrate that major environmental conditional cash transfer programs can support land management and also conserve the attitudes and institutions underpinning pro-social behavior.

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