Combining qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate participation in costa rica's program of payments for environmental services
The Costa Rican Program of Payments for Environmental Services provides financial compensation to forest owners for the environmental services generated by their forests. This program offers a unique opportunity to evaluate the impacts of direct incentive payments on conservation. In order to measure the causal effect of this program on outcomes of interest, it is fundamental to understand the factors that influence enrollment in the program. Economic theory suggests that opportunity costs are key, but many factors may determine and mediate the influence of these costs. This article reports findings from an integrated qualitative and quantitative approach to this question. Within an iterative field research framework, information was gathered through (a) semistructured interviews with government officials and forestry professionals, (b) case studies of participant and nonparticipant forest landowners based on in-depth interviews, field visits, and a review of records, and (c) a quantitative survey of participant and nonparticipant landowners. The semistructured interviews and case studies provide important insights that can be incorporated into the quantitative analysis, specifically by identifying potential determinants of program participation and land use change. Hypotheses about the relationship between program participation and the opportunity costs of participation are confirmed using both approaches. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Arriagada, RA; Sills, EO; Pattanayak, SK; Ferraro, PJ
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