Research: Forests

East Usambara Mist

Can roads contribute to forest transitions?

Roads are well-known drivers of deforestation. Yet in particular settings, there are reasons to expect that new roads could conversely contribute to the expansion of tree cover. Using data from a large scale rural roads program in India, I test this hypothesis with the aim of improving our understanding how land cover changes in response to infrastructure.

Collective sanctions and rewards in payments for ecosystem services

With Alex Pfaff, Luz Rodriguez and Elizabeth Shapiro, I investigate the impacts of collectively-levied incentives for forest conservation. We undertake field-lab experiments with Mexican participants in a real payments for ecosystem services (PES) program, Fondos Concurrentes (‘matching funds’). We aim to improve our understanding of group cooperation for resources management, specifically considering whether more or less cooperative communities are most likely to respond positively to payments that are conditional on additional contributions (i.e. those above baseline). We also test the impact of community participation in contract design.

pdf Kaczan, D, Pfaff, A, Rodriguez, L, and Shapiro-Garza, E (2017) ‘Increasing the impact of collective payments for ecosystem services’, (forthcoming in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management).

Designing a payments for ecosystem services program for forest conservation in Tanzania

Tanzania’s East Usambara Mountains contain immensely biodiverse forests, and also face deforestation  pressure from agricultural expansion. A key land use conversion is to agroforestry and then to sugarcane. My team and I surveyed farmer preferences for a conditional payments program to incentivize the maintenance of primary forest and ‘improved’ agroforestry. We also used field-lab experiments to explore the possibility of motivational crowding out.

Selected publications:

pdf Kaczan, D, Swallow, B and Adamowicz, W (2016) ‘Forest conservation and motivational crowding: Experimental evidence from Tanzania’ (forthcoming in Ecological Economics).

pdf Kaczan, D, Swallow, B and Adamowicz, W (2013) Designing a payment for ecosystem services (PES) program to reduce deforestation in Tanzania: An assessment of payment approaches’, Ecological Economics (95): 20 – 30.