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Deforestation Spillovers from Costa Rica...

Deforestation Spillovers from Costa Rican Protected Areas

Juan Robalino, Alexander Pfaff, Laura Villalobos LACEEP Working Paper Series WP78 Robalino-et-al-Park-Spillovers-LACEEP-WP78.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 average deforestation spillover impacts are not significant […]

Early Days in the Certification of Loggi...

Early Days in the Certification of Logging Concessions: Estimating FSC’s Deforestation Impact in Peru and Cameroon

Stephanie Panlasigui, Jimena Rico-Straffon, Jennifer Swenson, Colby J. Loucks, Alexander Pfaff Duke Environmental & Energy Economics Working Paper Series Conservation and development agendas often are seen as in contradiction and, in the past, most forest policy was driven by only one such agenda. Yet leading conservation policies such as protected areas (PAs) increasingly are understood […]

Generating New PES Institutions and Incr...

Generating New PES Institutions and Increased Impacts in Mexico: a framed field experiment on coordination and sanctions in Matching Funds sites

Alexander Pfaff, Luz Rodriguez, Elizabeth Shapiro Draft working paper, Duke University (part of a project supported by The Tinker Foundation). While states pay landowners in the big payment-for-ecosystem-services (PES) programs, PES can be locally organized. Downstream actors, e.g., may offer incentives to upstream. Even − or especially? − with local organization, though, there may be […]

Behavioral Spillovers from Targeted Ince...

Behavioral Spillovers from Targeted Incentives: losses from excluded individuals can counter gains from those selected

Francisco Alpizar, Anna Norden, Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino Duke Environmental & Energy Economics Working Paper Series Incentives conditioned on socially desired acts such as donating blood, departing conflict or mitigating climate change have increased in popularity. Many incentives are targeted, excluding some of the potential participants based upon characteristics or prior actions. We hypothesize that […]

Deforestation dynamics in response to th...

Deforestation dynamics in response to the evolution  of the Western Amazonian Inter-Oceanic Highway

Cesar Delgado, Dalia Amor Conde, Joseph O. Sexton, Fernando Colchero, Jennifer J. Swenson, Alexander Pfaff Draft working paper, Duke University. Over the last three decades, the first continuous road has been paved to connect northern  South America’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The final sections of this Inter-Oceanic Highway are now being completed through the western […]

Scaling up conservation impact in Madaga...

Scaling up conservation impact in Madagascar

Theo Gimenez, Alexander Pfaff, Ranaivo Rasolofoson, Lucas Joppa Draft working paper, Duke University. Ten years ago, Madagascar’s government committed to drastically scale up the nation’s protected-area coverage from ~3% to 10% of its area. We ask how successful this PA expansion is likely to be in terms of reducing deforestation (and, thereby, increasing the conservation […]

Protected Areas’ Impacts Upon Land Cover

Protected Areas’ Impacts Upon Land Cover Within Mexico: the need to add politics and dynamics to static land-use economics

Alexander Pfaff, Franciso Santiago-Avila, Lucas Joppa Draft working paper, Duke University. Incentives for REDD − i.e., reductions in emissions from deforestation and degradation − motivate application of static economic modeling of land use to assess heterogeneity over space in the business-as-usual baselines for land use required for forest policy evaluations. That some forested locations face […]

Sequenced Road Investments & Clearing Of

Sequenced Road Investments & Clearing Of The Mayan Forest

Dalia Amor Conde, Alexander Pfaff Draft working paper, Duke University. The Selva Maya is an important tropical forest, the second biggest in the Americas after the Amazon and the largest continuous forest patch of the ‘Mesoamerican hotspot’ which contains around 7% of the world species . Located across Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, Selva Maya is […]

Unintended Effects of Targeting an Envir...

Unintended Effects of Targeting an Environmental Rebate

Francisco Alpizar, Anna Norden, Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino Environmental and Resource Economics (accepted) 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 […]

Protected area types, strategies and imp...

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

Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino, Catalina Sandoval, Diego Herrera Philosophical Transactions B 2015 volume 370 (online http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2014.0273) The leading policy to conserve forest is protected areas (PAs). Yet, they are not a single tool: land users and uses vary by PA type; and public PA strategies vary in the extent of each type, as well as […]

Estimating the Impacts of Local Policy I...

Estimating the Impacts of Local Policy Innovation: the synthetic control method applied to tropical deforestation

Erin O. Sills, Diego Herrera, A. Justin Kirkpatrick, Amintas Brandao Jr., Rebecca Dickson, Simon Hall, Subhrendu Pattanayak, David Shoch, Mariana Vedoveto, Luisa Young, Alexander Pfaff PLOS ONE 2015 (forthcoming) DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0132590 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 […]

Protected Areas’ Impacts on Brazilian Am

Protected Areas’ Impacts on Brazilian Amazon Deforestation: examining conservation – development interactions to inform planning

Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino, Diego Herrera, Catalina Sandoval PLOS ONE 2015 (forthcoming) DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0129460 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 protection upon deforestation […]

Paper Park Performance: Mexico’s Natural

Paper Park Performance: Mexico’s Natural Protected Areas in the 1990s

Allen Blackman, Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino Global Environmental Change 31 (2015) pp50-61 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 management. It is not clear […]

Entry Points for Considering Ecosystem S...

Entry Points for Considering Ecosystem Services within Infrastructure Planning: how to integrate conservation with development in order to aid them both

Lisa Mandle, Benjamin P. Bryant, Mary Ruckelshaus, Davide Geneletti, Joseph M. Kiesecker, Alexander Pfaff Conservation Letters 2015 (online 9/28, doi 10.1111/conl.12201) 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 infrastructure […]

Evaluating Interactions of Forest Conser...

Evaluating Interactions of Forest Conservation Policies on Avoided Deforestation

Juan Robalino, Catalina Sandoval, David N. Barton, Adriana Chacon, Alexander Pfaff PLoS ONE 10(4):e0124910 (2015) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124910 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 […]

Framed field experiment on resource scar...

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

Alexander Pfaff, Maria Alejandra Vélez, Pablo Andres Ramos, Adriana Molina Ecological Economics 120 (2015) 416–429 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 framed field experiment. […]

Evolving Protected-Areas Impacts in Pana...

Evolving Protected-Areas Impacts in Panama: impact shifts show that plans require anticipation

Akiko Haruna, Alexander Pfaff, Sander van den Ende, Lucas Joppa Environmental Research Letters 9 (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 forwardlooking plans should blend such evaluations with […]

Realistic REDD: Improving the Forest Imp...

Realistic REDD: Improving the Forest Impacts of Domestic Policies in Different Settings

Alexander Pfaff, Gregory S. Amacher, Erin O. Sills Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, volume 7, issue 1, winter 2013, pp. 114–135 doi:10.1093/reep/res023 This article, which is part of a symposium on the economics of REDD, identifies three common settings for forest loss involving different types of decision-making agents that operate under different markets and […]

Improving stove evaluation using survey ...

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

Valerie Mueller, Alexander Pfaff, John Peabody, Yaping Liu, Kirk R. Smith Ecological Economics 93 (2013) 301–312 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 received which […]

Ecopayments and Deforestation in Costa R...

Ecopayments and Deforestation in Costa Rica: a nationwide analysis of PSA’s initial years

Juan Robalino, Alexander Pfaff Land Economics (2013) volume 89 (3): 432–448 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 zero to one-fifth of 1% per year (i.e., […]

Governance, Location and Avoided Defores...

Governance, Location and Avoided Deforestation from Protected Areas: greater restrictions can have lower impact, due to differences in location

Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino, Eirivelthon Lima, Catalina Sandoval, Diego Herrera World Development 2014 volume 55, pp. 7–20 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 of these […]

Evolution of households’ responses to th

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

Soumya Balasubramanya, Alexander Pfaff, Lori Bennear, Alessandro Tarozzi, Kazi Matin Ahmed, Amy Schoenfeld, Alexander van Geen Environment and Development Economics 19: 631–647 A national campaign of well testing through 2003 enabled households in rural Bangladesh to switch, at least for drinking water, from high-arsenic wells to neighboring lower arsenic wells. We study the well-switching dynamics […]

On the Endogeneity of Resource Comanagem...

On the Endogeneity of Resource Comanagement: Theory and Evidence from Indonesia

Stefanie Engel, Charles Palmer, Alexander Pfaff Land Economics 2013 89(2):308-329 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 user-user interactions, our state-user model addresses a critical question—when will comanagement arise?— in order to consider the right baseline […]

Unequal Information, Unequal Allocation:...

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

Alexander Pfaff, Maria Alejandra Velez, Renzo Taddei, Kenneth Broad Environmental Science & Policy 26 (2013) 90-101 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 Ceara´ State, we employ […]

Impact of a randomized controlled trial ...

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

Lori Bennear, Alessandro Tarozzi, Alexander Pfaff, Soumya Balasubramanya, Kazi Matin Ahmed, Alexander van Geen Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 65 (2013) 225–240 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 […]

Protecting forests, biodiversity, and th...

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

Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Volume 28, Number 1, 2012, pp. 164–179 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. We argue that considering […]

Contagious Development: neighbor interac...

Contagious Development: neighbor interactions in deforestation

Juan Robalino, Alexander Pfaff Journal of Development Economics 97 (2012) 427–436 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 find that neighboring deforestation significantly raises the probability of deforestation. […]

Can Environmental Insurance Succeed Wher...

Can Environmental Insurance Succeed Where Other Strategies Fail? The case of underground storage tanks.

Haitao Yin, Alexander Pfaff, Howard Kunreuther Risk Analysis 2011 volume 31 number 1: 12-24 (doi 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2010.01479.x) 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 management […]