Skip to main content

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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., […]

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. […]

Park Location Affects Forest Protection:...

Park Location Affects Forest Protection: Land Characteristics Cause Differences in Park Impacts across Costa Rica

Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Kwaw S. Andam, Paul J. Ferraro The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy: Vol. 9: Iss. 2 (Contributions), Article 5. 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 […]

Human choices and policies’ impacts on e

Human choices and policies’ impacts on ecosystem services: improving evaluations of payment and park effects on conservation and carbon

Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino Engel, S. and C. Palmer, editors, “Avoided Deforestation: Prospects for Mitigating Climate Change”, Routledge Explorations in Environmental Economics 2009 This chapter conveys why human choices complicate correct evaluations of impacts. Unobservable land choices, choices affecting policy location and interactions among choices complicate both ex post impact evaluation and ex ante policy […]

Measuring the effectiveness of protected...

Measuring the effectiveness of protected-area networks in reducing deforestation

Kwaw Andam, Paul Ferraro, Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa PNAS 105(42):16089-16094 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 cannot be directly observed. Conventional […]

Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: dis...

Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: distinguishing behavior from location

Alexander Pfaff, Suzi Kerr, Romina Cavatassi, Benjamin Davis, Leslie Lipper, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, J. Timmins Economics of poverty, environment and natural resource use (chapter 6). We review many theoretical predictions that link poverty to deforestation and then examine poverty’s net impact empirically using multiple observations of all of Costa Rica after 1960. Countrywide disaggregate (district-level) […]

Costa Rica’s Payment for Environmental S

Costa Rica’s Payment for Environmental Services Program: Intention, Implementation, and Impact

G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Alexander Pfaff, Juan Robalino, Judson Boomhower Conservation Biology 2007 volume 21, number 5, 1165–1173 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 […]

Will buying tropical forest carbon benef...

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

Alexander Pfaff, Suzi Kerr, Leslie Lipper, Romina Cavatassi, Benjamin Davis, Joanna Hendy, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa Land Use Policy 24 (2007) 600–610 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 […]

Estimating Spatial Interactions in Defor...

Estimating Spatial Interactions in Deforestation Decisions

Juan Robalino, Alexander Pfaff, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa Frontiers of Biodiversity Economics, Cambridge University Press This chapter is structured as follows. Section 2 describes a simple model of interactions in the context of deforestation, based on an equilibrium in beliefs about the neighbours’ actions. Section 3 discusses empirical issues in measurement of interactions and the benefits […]

Deforestation pressure and biological re...

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

Alexander Pfaff, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa Resource and Energy Economics 26 (2004) 237–254 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 survival probabilities over time […]

Integrity and Isolation of Costa Rica’s

Integrity and Isolation of Costa Rica’s National Parks and Biological Reserves: examining the dynamics of land-cover change

G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Gretchen C. Daily, Alexander Pfaff, Christopher Busch Biological Conservation 109 (2003) 123–135 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 biological reserves. […]

Carbon dynamics and land-use choices: bu...

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

Suzi Kerr, Shuguang Liu, Alexander Pfaff, R. Flint Hughes Journal of Environmental Management 69 (2003) 25–37 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 that addresses these […]

The Dynamics of Deforestation and the Su...

The Dynamics of Deforestation and the Supply of Carbon Sequestration: Illustrative Results from Costa Rica

Suzi Kerr, Alexander Pfaff, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa Central America Project, Environment: Conservation and Competitiveness. HIID 2001. Chapter 15. In this chapter we consider potential gains derived from preventing deforestation, drawing heavily from information from Chapter 14. It uses the same economic model and econometric technique and the same land use/land cover data. It also uses […]

How Can Carbon Sequestration in Tropical...

How Can Carbon Sequestration in Tropical Forests Be Rewarded?  Evidence from Case Of Costa Rica

Suzi Kerr, Alexander Pfaff, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Marco Boscolo Central America Project, Environment: Conservation and Competitiveness. HIID 2001. Chapter 14. The chapter is structured as follows. First, below, we begin this analysis of the process influencing land changes with a dynamic model of land-use choices. Such models have often been suggested, but crucial features have […]

The Kyoto Protocol & Payments for Tropic

The Kyoto Protocol & Payments for Tropical Forest:  An Interdisciplinary Method for Estimating Carbon-Offset Supply and Increasing the Feasibility of a Carbon Market under the CDM

Alexander Pfaff, Suzi Kerr, R. Flint Hughes, Shuguang Liu, G. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, David Schimel, Joseph Tosi, Vicente Watson Ecological Economics 35 (2000) 203–221 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 […]