Increasing the impact of collective incentives in payments for ecosystem services


Journal Article

© 2017 The Authors 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