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Projects

Central America, as well as the rest of the Latin American and Caribbean region, relies heavily on its natural resources. Therefore, the EfD-CA lines of work are:

•Use of economic tools in the design of public policies for agriculture, water and ecosystem management

•Policy impact evaluation and economic valuation of natural resources and environmental management

•Architecture of financial instruments for climate change mitigation and adaptation

•Territorial and natural resource governance

•Green and inclusive value chains

•Decision-making processes for agricultural production and food, water and energy consumption at the family level

The following are our ongoing research projects:

2019-01-10

Adaptation mechanisms against negative effects of weather on human capital formation

High school students are at risk: high temperatures decrease academic performance and daily school attendance. Can we mitigate these negative effects through better policies? This project proposes to answer this question by collecting and analyzing comparative data from Latin American countries and exploring the mechanisms under which existing public policies can mitigate the adverse effects of weather on schooling outcomes.

2018-02-23

Can protected areas reduce the vulnerability to climate related disasters?

The main goal of this project is to test whether protected areas (PAs) reduce the likelihood of climate related disasters such as floods, landslides and storms, in Costa Rica and Honduras. This evaluation study is expected to provide empirical evidence on the role of PAs in providing hydrological services to avoid the occurrence and damages of floods and landslides as a consequence of extreme weather events.

2017-07-28

Characterization of energy use in Central America: households choices and opportunities to promote energy transition initiatives in low and middle-income countries

While developed countries are increasing their reliance on renewable energy sources, low and middle-income countries maintain their energy matrix on conventional fuels and natural resources, increasing their energy dependency and unsustainable use of natural resources to respond to a growing population and emerging economy.

2017-02-27

Impacts on water consumption and welfare effects from appliances selection & pricing policies under an increasing block pricing structure in the residential sector

This study analyzes residential water demand by modeling both the effects of water prices and appliance portfolios selection on households’ water demands and welfare in the cities of San Jose and Addis Ababa. The results will be relevant inputs for the design of demand side water management policies.

2015-10-12

Combining state of the art science with practitioner´s wisdom in the design of PES schemes: Lessons from the Costa Rican experience

Our goal is to learn about the Costa Rican experience from the inside, working closely with FONAFIFO staff to understand how they have sought to improve efficiency and to explore  options for setting payment levels and targeting to increase efficiency, without missing the myriad of norms, rules, and other obstacles that program managers might face in the implementation of, for example, procurement auctions. 

2015-10-08

Understanding the tradeoffs between planned marine conservation policies and artisanal fishing in key coastal areas of Costa Rica

The projects objective is to identify local capabilities, assets, and activities that characterizes the livelihoods of small scale fishers in Costa Rica. A special attention will be given on how different regulations (external and internal) defining who, where, when, what, and how to fish might affect these livelihoods and the natural resource base.

2015-10-08

Performance based payments for protecting turtles: understanding the conditions for its success

In one of the major nesting beaches (La Flor), the Nicaraguan government has made an effort to enforce the prohibition to harvest by defining a protected area patrolled by governmental officers, and the army. However the effectiveness of this policy is questioned, particularly because of the difficulties to exclude people from turtle’s habitat, and the scarce governmental budgets dedicated to the enforcement of these regulations. 

2015-02-23

Combining state of the art science with practitioners wisdom in the design of PES schemes: Lessons from the Costa Rican experience.

The Costa Rican PSA Program is widely cited in discussions about REDD+, including as a reference on the costs of implementing PES and the challenges of generating additionality and livelihood co-benefits (poverty reduction).  As such, it is critical to document and extract lessons from the variation in payment levels and targeting criteria employed by Costa Rica´s National Forestry Fund (F

2015-02-23

Improving energy efficiency in Costa Rican households: the effect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary incentives in shaping the timing of consumption

Reducing a country´s dependence on fossil fuels is central to mitigate climate change and to promote the use of cheaper energy sources. In Costa Rica most energy is generated using hydro-electrical plants, however the fact that energy consumption is lumped in peak hours forces the use of fossil fuel (mostly diesel and bunker) based electricity generation.

2014-02-17

Experiments to test a bargaining game for reducing pollution

The purpose of this project is to test a bargaining game developed by Saborio-Rodriguez, Kwasnica and Shortle (2013) using experiments in a laboratory. In the game an environmental agreement to deal with water pollution is negotiated among three players located along a river. Negotiation leads to social optimum reduction in emission accompanied by a set of monetary transfers.

2013-11-28

Marine Protected Areas and Small-Scale Fishing Behavior: a Comparative Analysis between South Africa, Tanzania and Costa Rica

This thematic program examines marine resource conservation.  This multi-center collaborative project, the first within this thematic program, focuses on improving policy to promote coastal conservation through marine protected areas (MPAs) and related management tools.  Because signatories of the Convention on Biological Diversity have committed to establishing MPAs on 10 percent of their coastal waters, a widespread expansion of these areas is underway worldwide.

2008-10-01

Evaluating Land Conservation Policies in Developing Countries

What would have been the deforestation rate within and around protected areas if these protected areas had not been established? This project will allow to determine the impact of land conservation policies on deforestation and, with expenditure figures, the costs of saving an additional hectare of forest.