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Alexander Pfaff

Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
Sanford School of Public Policy
Box 90312, Durham, NC 27708
284 Rubenstein Hall, Box 90312, Durham, NC 27708

Selected Publications


No crowding out among those terminated from an ongoing PES program in Colombia

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · July 1, 2023 This paper presents novel evidence of no crowding out, of either motivations or donations, among those terminated from an ongoing program of payments for ecosystem services (PES) in Colombia. PES programs have risen in number. However, claims about pervers ... Full text Cite

Does the Selective Erasure of Protected Areas Raise Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?

Journal Article Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists · July 1, 2023 Protected areas (PAs) are the leading policy to lower deforestation. Yet resistance by land users leads PAs to be created in remote sites, lowering impact. Resistance continues after PA creation, with both illegal deforestation and advocacy for PADDD, that ... Full text Cite

Forest concessions and eco-certifications in the Peruvian Amazon: Deforestation impacts of logging rights and logging restrictions

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · March 1, 2023 Concessions that grant logging rights to firms support economic development based on forest resources. Eco-certifications put sustainability restrictions on the operations of those concessions. For spatially detailed data, including many pre-treatment year ... Full text Cite

Temporary PES do not crowd-out and may crowd-in lab-in-the-field forest conservation in Colombia

Journal Article Ecological Economics · February 1, 2023 Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs exist globally and at times shifting behaviors. Unlike protected areas, PES compensate land users raising local acceptance of conservation. Yet some worry that if payments are temporary, as is often the case, ... Full text Cite

Environmental Policies Benefit Economic Development: Implications of Economic Geography

Journal Article Annual Review of Resource Economics · January 1, 2022 For over a century, starting with the work of Alfred Marshall (and also in resource economics), economic geography has emphasized the productivity of dense urban agglomerations. Yet little attention is paid to one key policy implication of economic geograp ... Full text Cite

Leaders’ distributional & efficiency effects in collective responses to policy: Lab-in-field experiments with small-scale gold miners in Colombia

Journal Article World Development · November 1, 2021 Globally, small-scale gold mining (SSGM) is an important economic option for many rural poor. It involves local uses of shared resources, like common-pool contexts for which self-governance has avoided ‘tragedies of the commons’. Yet even ideal local gover ... Full text Cite

Can we increase the impacts from payments for ecosystem services? Impact rose over time in Costa Rica, yet spatial variation indicates more potential

Journal Article Forest Policy and Economics · November 1, 2021 As programs with payments for ecosystem services (PES) have become more numerous, raising the need for and also the opportunity for rigorous evidence on their contributions, we examine shifts within Costa Rica's Pagos por Servicios Ambientales (PSA) progra ... Full text Cite

The effectiveness of forest conservation policies and programs

Journal Article Annual Review of Resource Economics · October 6, 2020 The world's forests provide valuable contributions to people but continue to be threatened by agricultural expansion and other land uses. Counterfactual-based methods are increasingly used to evaluate forest conservation initiatives. This review synthesize ... Full text Cite

What Drives the Erasure of Protected Areas? Evidence from across the Brazilian Amazon

Journal Article Ecological Economics · October 1, 2020 Protected areas (PAs) are a widely used strategy for conserving forests and ecosystem services. When PAs succeed in deterring economic activities that degrade forests, the impacts include more forest yet less economic gain. These economic opportunity costs ... Full text Cite

Pervasive human-driven decline of life on Earth points to the need for transformative change.

Journal Article Science (New York, N.Y.) · December 2019 The human impact on life on Earth has increased sharply since the 1970s, driven by the demands of a growing population with rising average per capita income. Nature is currently supplying more materials than ever before, but this has come at the high cost ... Full text Cite

Graduated stringency within collective incentives for group environmental compliance: Building coordination in field-lab experiments with artisanal gold miners in Colombia

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · November 1, 2019 Small-scale gold mining is important to rural livelihoods in the developing world but also a source of environmental externalities. Incentives for individual producers are the classic policy response for a socially efficient balance between livelihoods and ... Full text Cite

Collective Local Payments for ecosystem services: New local PES between groups, sanctions, and prior watershed trust in Mexico

Journal Article Water Resources and Economics · October 1, 2019 Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs are now high in number, if not always in impact. When groups of users pay groups of service providers, establishing PES involves collective action. We study the creation of collective PES institutions, and the ... Full text Open Access Cite

Impacts of protected areas vary with the level of government: Comparing avoided deforestation across agencies in the Brazilian Amazon.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · July 2019 Protected areas (PAs) are the leading tools to conserve forests. However, given their mixed effectiveness, we want to know when they have impacts internally and, if they do, when they have spillovers. Political economy posits roles for the level of governm ... Full text Cite

Evaluating the impacts of protected areas on human well-being across the developing world.

Journal Article Science advances · April 2019 Protected areas (PAs) are fundamental for biodiversity conservation, yet their impacts on nearby residents are contested. We synthesized environmental and socioeconomic conditions of >87,000 children in >60,000 households situated either near or far from > ... Full text Cite

Can nature deliver on the sustainable development goals?

Journal Article The Lancet. Planetary health · March 2019 Full text Cite

Impacts of certification, uncertified concessions, and protected areas on forest loss in Cameroon, 2000 to 2013

Journal Article Biological conservation · November 2018 Deforestation and forest fragmentation are leading drivers of biodiversity loss. Protected areas have been the leading conservation policy response, yet their scale and scope remain inadequate to meet biodiversity conservation targets. Managed forest conce ... Full text Cite

Roads & SDGs, tradeoffs and synergies: Learning from Brazil’s Amazon in distinguishing frontiers

Journal Article Economics · March 5, 2018 To reduce SDG tradeoffs in infrastructure provision, and to inform searches for SDG synergies, the authors show that roads’ impacts on Brazilian Amazon forests varied significantly across frontiers. Impacts varied predictably with prior development – prior ... Full text Cite

Land-use and land-cover change shape the sustainability and impacts of protected areas.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · February 2018 Protected areas (PAs) remain the dominant policy to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services but have been shown to have limited impact when development interests force them to locations with lower deforestation pressure. Far less known is that such int ... Full text Cite

Increasing the impact of collective incentives in payments for ecosystem services

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · November 1, 2017 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 t ... Full text Open Access Cite

No crowding out among those terminated from an ongoing PES program in Colombia

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · July 1, 2023 This paper presents novel evidence of no crowding out, of either motivations or donations, among those terminated from an ongoing program of payments for ecosystem services (PES) in Colombia. PES programs have risen in number. However, claims about pervers ... Full text Cite

Does the Selective Erasure of Protected Areas Raise Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?

Journal Article Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists · July 1, 2023 Protected areas (PAs) are the leading policy to lower deforestation. Yet resistance by land users leads PAs to be created in remote sites, lowering impact. Resistance continues after PA creation, with both illegal deforestation and advocacy for PADDD, that ... Full text Cite

Forest concessions and eco-certifications in the Peruvian Amazon: Deforestation impacts of logging rights and logging restrictions

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · March 1, 2023 Concessions that grant logging rights to firms support economic development based on forest resources. Eco-certifications put sustainability restrictions on the operations of those concessions. For spatially detailed data, including many pre-treatment year ... Full text Cite

Temporary PES do not crowd-out and may crowd-in lab-in-the-field forest conservation in Colombia

Journal Article Ecological Economics · February 1, 2023 Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs exist globally and at times shifting behaviors. Unlike protected areas, PES compensate land users raising local acceptance of conservation. Yet some worry that if payments are temporary, as is often the case, ... Full text Cite

Environmental Policies Benefit Economic Development: Implications of Economic Geography

Journal Article Annual Review of Resource Economics · January 1, 2022 For over a century, starting with the work of Alfred Marshall (and also in resource economics), economic geography has emphasized the productivity of dense urban agglomerations. Yet little attention is paid to one key policy implication of economic geograp ... Full text Cite

Leaders’ distributional & efficiency effects in collective responses to policy: Lab-in-field experiments with small-scale gold miners in Colombia

Journal Article World Development · November 1, 2021 Globally, small-scale gold mining (SSGM) is an important economic option for many rural poor. It involves local uses of shared resources, like common-pool contexts for which self-governance has avoided ‘tragedies of the commons’. Yet even ideal local gover ... Full text Cite

Can we increase the impacts from payments for ecosystem services? Impact rose over time in Costa Rica, yet spatial variation indicates more potential

Journal Article Forest Policy and Economics · November 1, 2021 As programs with payments for ecosystem services (PES) have become more numerous, raising the need for and also the opportunity for rigorous evidence on their contributions, we examine shifts within Costa Rica's Pagos por Servicios Ambientales (PSA) progra ... Full text Cite

The effectiveness of forest conservation policies and programs

Journal Article Annual Review of Resource Economics · October 6, 2020 The world's forests provide valuable contributions to people but continue to be threatened by agricultural expansion and other land uses. Counterfactual-based methods are increasingly used to evaluate forest conservation initiatives. This review synthesize ... Full text Cite

What Drives the Erasure of Protected Areas? Evidence from across the Brazilian Amazon

Journal Article Ecological Economics · October 1, 2020 Protected areas (PAs) are a widely used strategy for conserving forests and ecosystem services. When PAs succeed in deterring economic activities that degrade forests, the impacts include more forest yet less economic gain. These economic opportunity costs ... Full text Cite

Pervasive human-driven decline of life on Earth points to the need for transformative change.

Journal Article Science (New York, N.Y.) · December 2019 The human impact on life on Earth has increased sharply since the 1970s, driven by the demands of a growing population with rising average per capita income. Nature is currently supplying more materials than ever before, but this has come at the high cost ... Full text Cite

Graduated stringency within collective incentives for group environmental compliance: Building coordination in field-lab experiments with artisanal gold miners in Colombia

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · November 1, 2019 Small-scale gold mining is important to rural livelihoods in the developing world but also a source of environmental externalities. Incentives for individual producers are the classic policy response for a socially efficient balance between livelihoods and ... Full text Cite

Collective Local Payments for ecosystem services: New local PES between groups, sanctions, and prior watershed trust in Mexico

Journal Article Water Resources and Economics · October 1, 2019 Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs are now high in number, if not always in impact. When groups of users pay groups of service providers, establishing PES involves collective action. We study the creation of collective PES institutions, and the ... Full text Open Access Cite

Impacts of protected areas vary with the level of government: Comparing avoided deforestation across agencies in the Brazilian Amazon.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · July 2019 Protected areas (PAs) are the leading tools to conserve forests. However, given their mixed effectiveness, we want to know when they have impacts internally and, if they do, when they have spillovers. Political economy posits roles for the level of governm ... Full text Cite

Evaluating the impacts of protected areas on human well-being across the developing world.

Journal Article Science advances · April 2019 Protected areas (PAs) are fundamental for biodiversity conservation, yet their impacts on nearby residents are contested. We synthesized environmental and socioeconomic conditions of >87,000 children in >60,000 households situated either near or far from > ... Full text Cite

Can nature deliver on the sustainable development goals?

Journal Article The Lancet. Planetary health · March 2019 Full text Cite

Impacts of certification, uncertified concessions, and protected areas on forest loss in Cameroon, 2000 to 2013

Journal Article Biological conservation · November 2018 Deforestation and forest fragmentation are leading drivers of biodiversity loss. Protected areas have been the leading conservation policy response, yet their scale and scope remain inadequate to meet biodiversity conservation targets. Managed forest conce ... Full text Cite

Roads & SDGs, tradeoffs and synergies: Learning from Brazil’s Amazon in distinguishing frontiers

Journal Article Economics · March 5, 2018 To reduce SDG tradeoffs in infrastructure provision, and to inform searches for SDG synergies, the authors show that roads’ impacts on Brazilian Amazon forests varied significantly across frontiers. Impacts varied predictably with prior development – prior ... Full text Cite

Land-use and land-cover change shape the sustainability and impacts of protected areas.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · February 2018 Protected areas (PAs) remain the dominant policy to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services but have been shown to have limited impact when development interests force them to locations with lower deforestation pressure. Far less known is that such int ... Full text Cite

Increasing the impact of collective incentives in payments for ecosystem services

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · November 1, 2017 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 t ... Full text Open Access Cite

Spillovers from conservation programs

Journal Article Annual Review of Resource Economics · October 5, 2017 Conservation programs have increased significantly, as has the evaluation of their impacts. However, the evaluation of their potential impacts beyond program borders has been scarce. Such spillovers can significantly reduce or increase net impacts. In this ... Full text Cite

Upstream watershed condition predicts rural children's health across 35 developing countries.

Journal Article Nature communications · October 2017 Diarrheal disease (DD) due to contaminated water is a major cause of child mortality globally. Forests and wetlands can provide ecosystem services that help maintain water quality. To understand the connections between land cover and childhood DD, we compi ... Full text Cite

Heterogeneous local spillovers from protected areas in Costa Rica

Journal Article Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists · September 1, 2017 Spillovers can significantly reduce or enhance the net effects of land-use policies, yet there exists little rigorous evidence concerning their magnitudes. We examine how Costa Rica’s national parks affect deforestation in nearby areas. We find that averag ... Full text Cite

Unintended Effects of Targeting an Environmental Rebate

Journal Article Environmental and Resource Economics · May 1, 2017 When designing schemes such as conditional cash transfers or payments for ecosystem services, the choice of whom to select and whom to exclude is critical. We incentivize and measure actual contributions to an environmental public good to ascertain whether ... Full text Cite

Spillovers from targeting of incentives: Exploring responses to being excluded

Journal Article Journal of Economic Psychology · April 1, 2017 A growing set of policies involve transfers conditioned upon socially desired actions, such as attending school or conserving forest. However, given a desire to maximize the impact of limited funds by avoiding transfers that do not change behavior, typical ... Full text Cite

Evolving protected-area impacts in Mexico: Political shifts as suggested by impact evaluations

Journal Article Forests · January 1, 2017 For protected areas (PAs), variation in forest impacts over space-including types of PA-are increasingly well documented, while shifts in impacts over time receive less attention. For Mexico, in the 1990s, PAs effectively were 'paper parks'. Thus, achievin ... Full text Cite

Reduction in exposure to arsenic from drinking well-water in Bangladesh limited by insufficient testing and awareness.

Journal Article Journal of water, sanitation, and hygiene for development : a journal of the International Water Association · January 2017 This study considers potential policy responses to the still very high levels of exposure to arsenic (As) caused by drinking water from shallow tubewells in rural Bangladesh. It examines a survey of 4,109 households in 76 villages of Araihazar upazila cond ... Full text Cite

Entry Points for Considering Ecosystem Services within Infrastructure Planning: How to Integrate Conservation with Development in Order to Aid Them Both

Journal Article Conservation Letters · May 1, 2016 New infrastructure is needed globally to support economic development and improve human well-being. Investments that do not consider ecosystem services (ES) can eliminate these important societal benefits from nature, undermining the development benefits i ... Full text Cite

Mainstreaming Impact Evaluation in Nature Conservation

Journal Article Conservation Letters · January 1, 2016 An important part of conservation practice is the empirical evaluation of program and policy impacts. Understanding why conservation programs succeed or fail is essential for designing cost-effective initiatives and for improving the livelihoods of natural ... Full text Cite

Welfare costs and rent premia when quotas are not transferable

Chapter · January 1, 2016 Rationing is pervasive in transition economies and in many developing countries. This paper contrasts the welfare costs of two forms of rationing: with and without license transferability among license holders. In the latter case, for a given level of rati ... Full text Cite

Framed field experiment on resource scarcity & extraction: Path-dependent generosity within sequential water appropriation

Journal Article Ecological Economics · December 1, 2015 How one treats others is important within collective action. We ask if resource scarcity in the past, due to its effects upon past behaviors, influences current other-regarding behaviors. Contrasting theories and empirical findings on scarcity motivate our ... Full text Cite

Protected area types, strategies and impacts in Brazil's Amazon: public protected area strategies do not yield a consistent ranking of protected area types by impact.

Journal Article Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences · November 2015 The leading policy to conserve forest is protected areas (PAs). Yet, PAs are not a single tool: land users and uses vary by PA type; and public PA strategies vary in the extent of each type and in the determinants of impact for each type, i.e. siting and i ... Full text Cite

Paper park performance: Mexico's natural protected areas in the 1990s

Journal Article Global Environmental Change · March 1, 2015 Although developing countries have established scores of new protected areas over the past three decades, they often amount to little more than "paper parks" that are chronically short of the financial, human, and technical resources needed for effective m ... Full text Open Access Cite

Evaluating interactions of forest conservation policies on avoided deforestation.

Journal Article PloS one · January 2015 We estimate the effects on deforestation that have resulted from policy interactions between parks and payments and between park buffers and payments in Costa Rica between 2000 and 2005. We show that the characteristics of the areas where protected and unp ... Full text Open Access Cite

Estimating the Impacts of Local Policy Innovation: The Synthetic Control Method Applied to Tropical Deforestation.

Journal Article PloS one · January 2015 Quasi-experimental methods increasingly are used to evaluate the impacts of conservation interventions by generating credible estimates of counterfactual baselines. These methods generally require large samples for statistical comparisons, presenting a cha ... Full text Open Access Cite

Protected Areas' Impacts on Brazilian Amazon Deforestation: Examining Conservation-Development Interactions to Inform Planning.

Journal Article PloS one · January 2015 Protected areas are the leading forest conservation policy for species and ecoservices goals and they may feature in climate policy if countries with tropical forest rely on familiar tools. For Brazil's Legal Amazon, we estimate the average impact of prote ... Full text Open Access Cite

Evolution of households' responses to the groundwater arsenic crisis in Bangladesh: information on environmental health risks can have increasing behavioral impact over time.

Journal Article Environment and development economics · October 2014 A national campaign of well testing through 2003 enabled households in rural Bangladesh to switch, at least for drinking, from high-arsenic wells to neighboring lower-arsenic wells. We study the well-switching dynamics over time by re-interviewing, in 2008 ... Full text Cite

Governance, Location and Avoided Deforestation from Protected Areas: Greater Restrictions Can Have Lower Impact, Due to Differences in Location

Journal Article World Development · March 1, 2014 For Acre, in the Brazilian Amazon, we find that protection types with differences in governance, including different constraints on local economic development, also differ in their locations. Taking this into account, we estimate the deforestation impacts ... Full text Cite

Evolving protected-area impacts in Panama: Impact shifts show that plans require anticipation

Journal Article Environmental Research Letters · January 1, 2014 Protected areas (PAs) are the leading forest conservation policy, so accurate evaluation of future PA impact is critical in conservation planning. Yet by necessity impact evaluations use past data. Here we argue that forward-looking plans should blend such ... Full text Cite

Improving stove evaluation using survey data: Who received which intervention matters

Journal Article Ecological Economics · September 1, 2013 As biomass fuel use in developing countries causes substantial harm to health and the environment, efficient stoves are candidates for subsidies to reduce emissions. In evaluating improved stoves' relative benefits, little attention has been given to who r ... Full text Cite

Unequal Information, Unequal Allocation: Bargaining field experiments in NE Brazil

Journal Article Environmental Science and Policy · February 1, 2013 We assess how unequal information affects the bargaining within resource allocation, a stakeholder interaction that is critical for climate adaptation within the water sector. Motivated by water allocation among unequal actors in NE Brazil, within Ceará St ... Full text Cite

Deforestation and Forest Degradation: Concerns, Causes, Policies, and Their Impacts

Chapter · January 1, 2013 National and international efforts to reduce loss of tropical forests, while having some impacts, have largely failed to substantially slow the rates of loss from deforestation and forest degradation that reduce species habitat while accounting for 12-17% ... Full text Cite

Predicting Policy Impact on Tropical Dry Forests

Chapter · January 1, 2013 A central goal for those who would like to see additional and improved policy for TDFs is to nd ways in which relevant private actors will take these societal values into consideration. This is a big challenge. At the national level, policy makers themselv ... Full text Cite

On the endogeneity of resource comanagement: Theory and evidence from indonesia

Journal Article Land Economics · January 1, 2013 We examine theoretically the emergence of participatory comanagement agreements that share between state and user the management of resources and the benefits from use. Going beyond useruser interactions, our state-user model addresses a critical question- ... Full text Cite

Realistic REDD: Improving the forest impacts of domestic policies in different settings

Journal Article Review of Environmental Economics and Policy · January 1, 2013 Both theory and evidence regarding forest-relevant decisions by various agents suggest that there are significant constraints on the effectiveness of domestic policies for REDD (i.e., in facilitating a reduction in emissions from deforestation and forest d ... Full text Cite

Ecopayments and deforestation in Costa Rica: A nationwide analysis of PSA's initial years

Journal Article Land Economics · January 1, 2013 We offer a nationwide analysis of the initial years of Costa Rica's PSA program, which pioneered environmental-services payments and inspired similar initiatives. Our estimates of this program's impact on deforestation, between 1997 and 2000, range from ze ... Full text Cite

Protecting forests, biodiversity, and the climate: Predicting policy impact to improve policy choice

Journal Article Oxford Review of Economic Policy · October 1, 2012 Policies must balance forest conservation's local costs with its benefits-local to global-in terms of biodiversity, the mitigation of climate change, and other eco-services such as water quality. The trade-offs with development vary across forest locations ... Full text Cite

The advantage of resource queues over spot resource markets: Decision coordination in experiments under resource uncertainty

Journal Article American Journal of Agricultural Economics · October 1, 2012 Farmers have to make key decisions, such as which crops to plant or whether to prepare the soil, before knowing how much water they will get. They face losses if they make costly decisions but do not receive water, and they may forego profits if they recei ... Full text Cite

Contagious development: Neighbor interactions in deforestation

Journal Article Journal of Development Economics · March 1, 2012 We estimate neighbor interactions in deforestation in Costa Rica. To address simultaneity and the presence of spatially correlated unobservables, we measure for neighbors' deforestation using the slopes of neighbors' and neighbors' neighbors' parcels. We f ... Full text Cite

Efficiency and equity in negotiated resource transfers: Contributions and limitations of trust with limited contracts

Journal Article Ecological Economics · February 1, 2012 We consider a case of water reallocation in Brazil, one which has numerous analogs elsewhere. To permit empirical study of the effects of institutions that can facilitate or restrict allocations, we conducted field experiments to explore trust's potential ... Full text Cite

Assessing the Impact of Institutional Design of Payments for Environmental Services: The Costa Rican Experience

Chapter · January 1, 2012 By now, these programmes have been implemented in many countries of the Latin American region (e.g. Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia). But Costa Rica was one of the first developing countries to implement this policy nationwide, recognizing legally that forest ... Full text Cite

Impact of a randomized controlled trial in arsenic risk communication on household water-source choices in Bangladesh

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · 2012 We conducted a randomized controlled trial in rural Bangladesh to examine how household drinking-water choices were affected by two different messages about risk from naturally occurring groundwater arsenic. Households in both randomized treatment arms wer ... Full text Cite

Demonstrating bias and improved inference for stoves' health benefits.

Journal Article International journal of epidemiology · December 2011 BackgroundMany studies associate health risks with household air pollution from biomass fuels and stoves. Evaluations of stove improvements can suffer from bias because they rarely address health-relevant differences between the households who get ... Full text Cite

Getting REDDy: Understanding and Improving Domestic Policy Impacts on Forest Loss

Journal Article Duke Environmental Economics Working Paper · September 25, 2011 Cite

Bright Lines, Risk Beliefs, and Risk Avoidance: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Bangladesh

Journal Article Economic Research Initiatives at Duke Working Paper · July 1, 2011 Cite

Global protected area impacts.

Journal Article Proceedings. Biological sciences · June 2011 Protected areas (PAs) dominate conservation efforts. They will probably play a role in future climate policies too, as global payments may reward local reductions of loss of natural land cover. We estimate the impact of PAs on natural land cover within eac ... Full text Open Access Cite

Can environmental insurance succeed where other strategies fail? The case of underground storage tanks.

Journal Article Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis · January 2011 Private risk reduction will be socially efficient only when firms are liable for all the damage that they cause. We find that environmental insurance can achieve social efficiency even when two traditional policy instruments--ex post fines and risk managem ... Full text Cite

Regional interdependence and forest "transitions": Substitute deforestation limits the relevance of local reversals

Journal Article Land Use Policy · April 1, 2010 Using case studies and concepts we suggest that constraints upon aggregate or global forest transition are significantly more severe than those upon local forest reversals. The basic reason is that one region's reversal can be facilitated by other regions ... Full text Cite

Indigenous lands, protected areas, and slowing climate change.

Journal Article PLoS biology · March 2010 Recent climate talks in Copenhagen reaffirmed the crucial role of reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). Creating and strengthening indigenous lands and other protected areas represents an effective, practical, and immediate REDD str ... Full text Open Access Cite

Reassessing the forest impacts of protection: the challenge of nonrandom location and a corrective method.

Journal Article Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences · January 2010 Protected areas are leading tools in efforts to slow global species loss and appear also to have a role in climate change policy. Understanding their impacts on deforestation informs environmental policies. We review several approaches to evaluating protec ... Full text Cite

High and far: biases in the location of protected areas.

Journal Article PloS one · December 2009 BackgroundAbout an eighth of the earth's land surface is in protected areas (hereafter "PAs"), most created during the 20(th) century. Natural landscapes are critical for species persistence and PAs can play a major role in conservation and in cli ... Full text Open Access Cite

Behavior, Environment, and Health in Developing Countries: Evaluation and Valuation

Journal Article Annual Review of Resource Economics · October 10, 2009 We consider health and environmental quality in developing countries, where limited resources constrain behaviors that combat enormously burdensome health challenges. We focus on four huge challenges that are preventable (i.e., are resolved in ric ... Full text Cite

Design and deployment of a portable membrane equilibrator for sampling aqueous dissolved gases

Journal Article Water Resources Research · April 1, 2009 We present designs for a portable trace gas sampler, based on membrane technology, to obtain a gas sample from water in the field. A continuous flow of water is equilibrated with a finite volume of gas until the gas pressure matches the total dissolved gas ... Full text Cite

Road impacts in Brazilian Amazonia

Journal Article Geophysical Monograph Series · January 1, 2009 We examine the evidence on Amazonian road impacts with a strong emphasis on context. Impacts of a new road, on either deforestation or socioeconomic outcomes, depend upon the conditions into which roads are placed. Conditions that matter include the biophy ... Full text Cite

Scenarios of future Amazonian landscapes: Econometric and dynamic simulation models

Chapter · January 1, 2009 This chapter addresses two broad classes of models frequently used in the land use/land cover change (LULCC) literature, namely, econometric and dynamic simulation approaches. We discuss both in light of analyses of LULCC in the Amazon, highlighting contri ... Full text Cite

Park location affects forest protection: Land characteristics cause differences in park impacts across costa rica

Journal Article B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy · January 1, 2009 To support conservation planning, we ask whether a park's impact on deforestation rates varies with observable land characteristics that planners could use to prioritize sites. Using matching methods to address bias from non-random location, we find defore ... Full text Cite

Measuring the effectiveness of protected area networks in reducing deforestation.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · October 2008 Global efforts to reduce tropical deforestation rely heavily on the establishment of protected areas. Measuring the effectiveness of these areas is difficult because the amount of deforestation that would have occurred in the absence of legal protection ca ... Full text Cite

Costa Rica's payment for environmental services program: intention, implementation, and impact.

Journal Article Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology · October 2007 We evaluated the intention, implementation, and impact of Costa Rica's program of payments for environmental services (PSA), which was established in the late 1990s. Payments are given to private landowners who own land in forest areas in recognition of th ... Full text Open Access Cite

Reduction in urinary arsenic levels in response to arsenic mitigation efforts in Araihazar, Bangladesh.

Journal Article Environmental health perspectives · June 2007 BackgroundThere is a need to identify and evaluate an effective mitigation program for arsenic exposure from drinking water in Bangladesh.ObjectiveWe evaluated the effectiveness of a multifaceted mitigation program to reduce As exposure a ... Full text Open Access Cite

Responses of 6500 households to arsenic mitigation in Araihazar, Bangladesh.

Journal Article Health & place · March 2007 This study documents the response of 6500 rural households in a 25 km(2) area of Bangladesh to interventions intended to reduce their exposure to arsenic contained in well water. The interventions included public education, posting test results for arsenic ... Full text Cite

Road investments, spatial spillovers, and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

Journal Article Journal of Regional Science · February 1, 2007 Understanding the impact of road investments on deforestation is part of a complete evaluation of the expansion of infrastructure for development. We find evidence of spatial spillovers from roads in the Brazilian Amazon: deforestation rises in the census ... Full text Cite

Estimating spatial interactions in deforestation decisions

Chapter · January 1, 2007 Introduction Ongoing decreases in the stock of tropical forest have long been a major concern, due to their implications for biodiversity loss and provision of ecosystem services. Ecological research also provides evidence that even if the stock is held co ... Full text Cite

Will buying tropical forest carbon benefit the poor? Evidence from Costa Rica

Journal Article Land Use Policy · January 1, 2007 We review claims linking both payments for carbon and poverty to deforestation. We examine these effects empirically for Costa Rica during the late 20th century using an econometric approach that addresses the irreversibilities in deforestation. We find si ... Full text Cite

Climate, stream flow prediction and water management in northeast Brazil: Societal trends and forecast value

Journal Article Climatic Change · January 1, 2007 We assess the potential benefits from innovative forecasts of the stream flows that replenish reservoirs in the semi-arid state of Ceará, Brazil. Such forecasts have many potential applications. In Ceará, they matter for both water-allocation and participa ... Full text Cite

Can information alone change behavior? Response to arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh

Journal Article Journal of Development Economics · January 1, 2007 We study how effectively information induces Bangladeshi households to avoid a health risk. The response to information is large and rapid; knowing that the household's well water has an unsafe concentration of arsenic raises the probability that the house ... Full text Open Access Cite

Epidemiology. Ensuring safe drinking water in Bangladesh.

Journal Article Science (New York, N.Y.) · December 2006 Full text Cite

Targeting low-arsenic aquifers for the installation of community wells in Bangladesh

Conference ABSTRACTS OF PAPERS OF THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY · March 26, 2006 Link to item Cite

Aggregate measures of ecosystem services: Can we take the pulse of nature?

Journal Article Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment · January 1, 2005 National scale aggregate indicators of ecosystem services are useful for stimulating and supporting a broad public discussion about trends in the provision of these services. There are important considerations involved in producing an aggregate indicator, ... Full text Cite

To err on humans is not benign. Incentives for adoption of medical error-reporting systems.

Journal Article Journal of health economics · September 2004 Concerns about frequent and harmful medical errors have led policy makers to advocate the creation of a system for medical error reporting. Health providers, fearing that reported information about errors would be used against them under the current medica ... Full text Cite

Deforestation pressure and biological reserve planning: A conceptual approach and an illustrative application for Costa Rica

Journal Article Resource and Energy Economics · June 1, 2004 An index of 'deforestation pressure' is suggested as useful for reserve planning alongside the currently used information on the species present at candidate sites. For any location, the index value is correlated with threats to habitat and thus also survi ... Full text Cite

Big field, small potatoes: An empirical assessment of EPA's self-audit policy

Journal Article Journal of Policy Analysis and Management · June 1, 2004 Environmental self-auditing is said to deserve and require encouragement. Although firms can audit themselves more cheaply and effectively than regulators, they are deterred for fear that information they uncover will be used against them. To reduce this d ... Full text Cite

Household production and Environmental Kuznets Curves

Journal Article Environmental and Resource Economics · February 1, 2004 This paper provides a theoretical explanation for the widely debated empirical finding of "Environmental Kuznets Curves", i.e., U-shaped relationships between per-capita income and indicators of environmental quality. We present a household-production mode ... Full text Cite

Aid, economic growth and environmental sustainability: Rich-poor interactions and environmental choices in developing countries

Journal Article International Journal of Global Environmental Issues · January 1, 2004 Rich-poor interactions complicate the search for a stable Environmental Kuznets Curve (an 'inverted U' relationship between income per-capita and environmental degradation). We show that aid from richer to poorer countries to support investments in environ ... Full text Cite

Endowments, preferences, technologies and abatement: Growth-environment microfoundations

Journal Article International Journal of Global Environmental Issues · January 1, 2004 Will economic growth inevitably degrade the environment, throughout development? We present a household-level framework emphasising the trade-off between consumption that causes pollution and pollution-reducing abatement. Our model provides a simple explan ... Full text Cite

Carbon Dynamics and Land-use Choices: Building a Regional-scale Multidisciplinary Model

Scholarly Edition · September 3, 2003 Policy enabling tropical forests to approach their potential contribution to global-climate-change mitigation requires forecasts of land use and carbon storage on a large scale over long periods. In this paper, we present an integrated modeling ... Cite

Carbon dynamics and land-use choices: building a regional-scale multidisciplinary model.

Journal Article Journal of environmental management · September 2003 Policy enabling tropical forests to approach their potential contribution to global-climate-change mitigation requires forecasts of land use and carbon storage on a large scale over long periods. In this paper, we present an integrated modeling methodology ... Full text Cite

Effective and equitable dissemination of seasonal-to-interannual climate forecasts: Policy implications from the Peruvian fishery during El Niño 1997-98

Journal Article Climatic Change · August 17, 2002 The development of seasonal-to-interannual climate predictions has spurred widespread claims that the dissemination of such forecasts will yield benefits for society. Based on the use as well as non-use of forecasts in the Peruvian fishery during the 1997- ... Full text Cite

Integrity and isolation of Costa Rica's national parks and biological reserves: Examining the dynamics of land-cover change

Journal Article Biological Conservation · January 1, 2002 The transformation and degradation of tropical forest is thought to be the primary driving force in the loss of biodiversity worldwide. Developing countries are trying to counter act this massive lost of biodiversity by implementing national parks and biol ... Full text Cite

The Kyoto protocol and payments for tropical forest: An interdisciplinary method for estimating carbon-offset supply and increasing the feasibility of a carbon market under the CDM

Journal Article Ecological Economics · January 1, 2000 Protecting tropical forests under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) could reduce the cost of emissions limitations set in Kyoto. However, while society must soon decide whether or not to use tropical forest-based offsets evidence regarding tropical car ... Full text Cite

Informal Economies, Information and the Environment

Journal Article Journal of International Affairs · 2000 Cite

Environmental self-auditing: Setting the proper incentives for discovery and correction of environmental harm

Journal Article Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization · January 1, 2000 Many firms conduct "environmental audits" to test compliance with a complex array of environmental regulations. Commentators suggest, however, that self-auditing is not as common as it should be, because firms fear that what they find will be used against ... Full text Cite

Who benefits from climate forecasts?

Journal Article Nature · February 25, 1999 Full text Cite

What drives deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon? Evidence from satellite and socioeconomic data

Journal Article Journal of Environmental Economics and Management · January 1, 1999 While previous empirical analysis of deforestation focused on population, this paper builds from a model of land use which suggests many determinants of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. I derive a deforestation equation from this model and test a num ... Full text Cite

Welfare costs and rent premia when quotas are not transferable

Journal Article European Economic Review · January 1, 1994 Rationing is pervasive in transition economies and in many developing countries. This paper contrasts the welfare costs of two forms of rationing: with and without license transferability among license holders. In the latter case, for a given level of rati ... Full text Cite

Tropical Forest Protection, Uncertainty, and the Environmental Integrity of Carbon Mitigation Policies

Scholarly Edition Tropical forests are estimated to release approximately 1.7 PgC per year as a result of deforestation. Avoiding tropical deforestation could potentially play a significant role in carbon mitigation over the next 50 years if not longer. Many policymakers an ... Cite

Deforestation spillovers from Costa Rican protected areas

Scholarly Edition Spillovers can significantly reduce or enhance the effects of land-use policies, yet there exists little rigorous evidence concerning their magnitudes. We examine how national parks within Costa Rica affect the clearing of forest nearby. We find that avera ... Cite

Logging concessions, certification and protected areas in the Peruvian Amazon: forest impacts from development rights and land-use restrictions

Scholarly Edition Economic activities (agriculture, logging, mining) drive tropical forest loss, so balancing development and conservation involves tradeoffs – as well as synergies. Conservation policies, such as protected areas (PAs), may save more forest when they include ... Cite