Increasing the impact of collective incentives in payments for ecosystem services

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Collective payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs make payments to groups, conditional on specified aggregate land-management outcomes. Such collective contracting may be well suited to settings with communal land tenure or decision-making. Given that collective contracting does not require costly individual-level information on outcomes, it may also facilitate conditioning on additionality (i.e., conditioning payments upon clearly improved outcomes relative to baseline). Yet collective contracting often suffers from free-riding, which undermines group outcomes and may be exacerbated or ameliorated by PES designs. We study impacts of conditioning on additionality within a number of collective PES designs. We use a framed field-laboratory experiment with participants from a new PES program in Mexico. Because social interactions are critical within collective processes, we assess the impacts from conditioning on additionality given: (1) group participation in contract design, and (2) a group coordination mechanism. Conditioning on above-baseline outcomes raised contributions, particularly among initially lower contributors. Group participation in contract design increased impact, as did the coordination mechanism.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kaczan, D; Pfaff, A; Rodriguez, L; Shapiro-Garza, E

Published Date

  • November 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 86 /

Start / End Page

  • 48 - 67

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1096-0449

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0095-0696

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jeem.2017.06.007

Citation Source

  • Scopus