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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


    Unintended Effects of Targeting an Environmental Rebate

    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 being excluded from a rebate can affect contributions and, if so, whether the rationale for exclusion influences such effects. Treatments, i.e., three rules that determine who is selected and excluded, are randomly assigned. Two of the rules base exclusion on subjects’ initial contributions.


    The use of Ecosystem-based Adaptation practices by smallholder farmers in Central America

    There is growing interest in promoting the use of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) practices to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change, however there is limited information on how commonly these practices are used by smallholder farmers and what factors influence their use. Using participatory mapping and field surveys, we examined the prevalence and characteristics of EbA practices on 300 smallholder coffee and maize farmers in six landscapes in Central America and explored the socioeconomic and biophysical factors associated with their use.


    The long-run relationship between CO2 emissions and economic activity in a small open economy: Uruguay 1882 - 2010

    The long-run relationship between carbon dioxide emissions from energy use and economic activity level is estimated for Uruguay between 1882 and 2010. We apply cointegration techniques and estimate a Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) for testing whether these variables are endogenous over the long-rung while also considering the short-run dynamics. The economic productive structure, the degree of openness, and the share of clean sources on total energy supply are also considered as explanatory variables.


    Heterogeneous Local Spillovers from Protected Areas in Costa Rica

    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 average deforestation spillovers are not significant in 0–5 km and 5–10 km rings around the parks. However, this average blends multiple effects that are significant and that vary in magnitude across the landscape, yielding varied net impacts.


    Spillovers from Conservation Programs

    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 review, we discuss how conservation programs might affect outcomes beyond their borders and present some evidence of when they have or have not. We focus on five major channels by which spillovers can arise: (1) input reallocation; (2) market prices; (3) learning; (4) nonpecuniary motivations; and (5) ecological-physical links.


    Determinants of Successful Collective Management of Forest Resources: Evidence from Kenyan Community Forest Associations

    Participation of local communities in management and utilization of forest resources through collective action has become widely accepted as a possible solution to failure of centralized, top-down approaches to forest conservation. Developing countries have thus resorted to devolution of forest management through initiatives such as Participatory Forest Management (PFM) and Joint Forest Management (JFM). In Kenya, under such initiatives, communities have been able to self-organize into community forest associations (CFAs).


    Measurement of inequality using household energy consumption data in rural China

    Measuring inequality can be challenging due to the limitations of using household income or expenditure data. Because actual energy consumption can be measured more easily and accurately and is relatively more stable, it may be a better measure of inequality. Here we use data on energy consumption for specific devices from a large nation-wide household survey (n = 3,404 rural households from 12 provinces) to assess inequality in rural China.


    A Study of Forestry Policy Evolution and Development Tendency in China After the Reform and Opening-up

    This study reviewed the forestry policy evolution in China as of the reform and opening-up, and concluded the three basic evolution tendencies in the forestry policies, i.e., 1) The Pareto improvement has become the core principle of policy adjustments; 2) The forest tenure owned by peasants has been expanded and strengthened in practices; 3) The forest protection is an essential part included in the forestry development strategy. Based on the review and analysis, the authors came up with the new thoughts on the future


    The political intergenerational welfare state

    Using a three-period overlapping generations economy framework, we characterize an intergenerational welfare state with endogenous education and pension under voting. We show that although politically establishing Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) social security in isolation in a dynamically efficient economy will always reduce the capital investment and therefore the social welfare as expected, in contrast politically implementing education-pension policy package instead can improve both human and physical capital accumulation and social welfare over laissez faire.


    Distance to Work in Beijing: Institutional Reform and Bargaining Power

    In this study, we use a large sample from the Beijing Household Travel Survey to build husband-wife dyads, construct variables to measure bargaining power between spouses and place intra-household travel arrangements within a broader institutional framework to analyse relationships between institutions, bargaining power and travel patterns of married men and women. The empirical results reveal that bargaining power does matter in determining intra-household commute arrangements.