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  • Environment for Development Discussion Paper Series May 2011 EfD DP 11-06

    Conditional Cash Transfers and Payments for Environmental Services

    A Conceptual Framework for Explaining and Judging Differences in Outcomes

    U. Mar t i n Persson and Fr anc isco Al p zar

  • Environment for Development

    The Environment for Development (EfD) initiative is an environmental economics program focused

    on international research collaboration, policy advice, and academic training. It supports centers in Central

    America, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania, in partnership with the Environmental

    Economics Unit at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and Resources for the Future in Washington, DC.

    Financial support for the program is provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

    (Sida). Read more about the program at www.efdinitiative.org or contact [email protected]

    Central America Environment for Development Program for Central America Centro Agronmico Tropical de Investigacon y Ensenanza (CATIE) Email: [email protected]

    China Environmental Economics Program in China (EEPC) Peking University Email: [email protected]

    Ethiopia Environmental Economics Policy Forum for Ethiopia (EEPFE) Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI/AAU) Email: [email protected]

    Kenya Environment for Development Kenya Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) Nairobi University Email: [email protected]

    South Africa Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU) University of Cape Town Email: [email protected]

    Tanzania Environment for Development Tanzania University of Dar es Salaam Email: [email protected]

    http://www.efdinitiative.org/mailto:[email protected]ilto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]

  • Discussion papers are research materials circulated by their authors for purposes of information and discussion. They have

    not necessarily undergone formal peer review.

    Conditional Cash Transfers and Payments for Environmental

    Services: A Conceptual Framework for Explaining and Judging

    Differences in Outcomes

    U. Martin Persson and Francisco Alpzar

    Abstract

    Despite the recent popularity of conditional cash transfers (CCT) and payments for

    environmental services (PES) programs, what determines their success is not well understood. We

    developed a conceptual framework to give insight into some of the main determinants of CCT and PES

    program efficiency that hope to increase investments in human and environmental capital. We used a

    simple agent-based model and validated the results with empirical data from existing programs. We

    show that 1) the share of participants who meet the programs conditions at baseline is a powerful

    predictor of program efficiency, (2) and selection bias erodes program efficiency to a large extent.

    (Selection bias stems from agents who already meet program criteria and who self-select into programs

    at higher rates than those who do not meet the conditions.) Based on these results, we discuss

    possibilities for improving efficiencymainly by targeting applicants or increasing paymentsand

    criteria for evaluating and choosing CCT, PES, or other policy instruments.

    Key Words: conditional cash transfer, payment for ecosystem services, program evaluation,

    additionality

    JEL Classification: D04, H53, I38, Q28

  • Contents

    Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 1

    1. A Conceptual Framework of CCT and PES Additionality ........................................... 5

    2. Methods and Material: Numerical Model and Empirical Strategy .......................... 10

    2.1 A Stylized Multi-Agent Model of CCT and PES Additionality ............................... 10

    2.2 Empirical Strategy for Testing the Determinants of CCT and PES Additionality ... 12

    3. Determinants of CCT and PES Additionality: Numerical Illustrations and

    Empirical Evidence ......................................................................................................... 14

    3.1 Baseline Compliance Level and Additionality ......................................................... 15

    3.2 Selection Bias, Application Rates, Payment Levels, and Additionality ................... 17

    3.3 Targeting and Additionality ...................................................................................... 19

    4. Discussion and Conclusions ........................................................................................... 22

    References .............................................................................................................................. 25

  • Environment for Development Persson and Alpzar

    1

    Conditional Cash Transfers and Payments for Environmental

    Services: A Conceptual Framework for Explaining and Judging

    Differences in Outcomes

    U. Martin Persson and Francisco Alpzar

    Introduction

    The last two decades have seen the emergence of two innovative and related policy

    approaches that encourage social and environmental services in developing countries:

    conditional cash transfers (CCT) and payments for environmental services (PES). What these

    two mechanisms have in common is that they offer positive incentives (cash or in-kind payment)

    that are conditional on investments in social or environmental capital. Conditional cash transfers

    support poor families, contingent on investments in the human capital of their children, mainly

    by mandating school attendance and/or use of healthcare services. Payments for environmental

    services compensate natural resource managers (usually land owners), conditional on

    environmental services or land-use practices that secure that service. Both programs, it has been

    argued, offer advantages over previous policy approaches (such as unconditional cash transfers,

    supply-side interventions, integrated conservation and development projects, and sustainable

    forestry management) that have shown meager results in reducing poverty and conserving

    ecosystems (Rawlings and Rubio 2006; Pattanayak et al. 2010).

    Recent reviews of conditional cash transfers (e.g., Rawlings and Rubio 2005; Handa and

    Davis 2006; Fiszbein and Schady 2009) and payments for environmental services (e.g., Landell-

    Mills and Porras 2002; Bulte et al. 2008; Wunder et al. 2008; Pattanayak et al. 2010) highlight

    the pace at which these policies have spread across the developing world. In 2008, 29 developing

    countries (mainly in Latin America) had at least one CCT program in place with more planned or

    already underway (Fiszbein and Schady 2009). In many countries, nationwide CCT programs

    U. Martin Persson, Gothenburg Centre of Globalization and Development, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, 405 30 Gteborg, Sweden, (email) [email protected]; and Francisco

    Alpizar, EfD-Central America at the Tropical Agriculture Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), CATIE

    Headquarters 7170, Cartago, Turrialba 30501, Costa Rica, (email) [email protected]

    The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the MISTRA program, Biodiversity and Ecosystem

    Services in a Changing Climate (BECC) and from SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation

    Agency) via the Environment for Development Initiative (www.efdinitiative.org). We also thank Allen Blackman,

    Paul Ferraro, Olle Hggstrm, Juan Robalino, and Laura Villalobos for their valuable comments and insights.

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]://www.efdinitiative.org/

  • Environment for Development Persson and Alpzar

    2

    form the backbone of social security policy, such as the Brazilian Bolsa Famila or the Mexican

    Oportunidades programs. Each of these serves a quarter of their countrys population (11 million

    and 5 million households, respectively) and they have budgets of 0.5 percent of their gross

    domestic product (Fiszbein and Schady 2009).

    Payment for environmental services schemes are even more prolific. An early review by

    Landell-Mills and Porras (2002) found close to 200 incipient PES schemes in developing

    countries, and the numbers have only increased since then (Pattanayak et al. 2010). Generally,

    however, these programs are small in scale (sub-national). Three exceptions are Costa Ricas

    PSA (Pagos por Servicios Ambientales [Payments for Environmental Services]) program, which

    since its inception in 1997 has made payments for forest conservation (primarily) on nearly

    500,000 hectares of land; Chinas Sloping Lands Conservation Program (SLCP), which so far

    has contracted 12 million hectares for reforestation in an attempt to p