Can roads contribute to forest transitions?
I investigate whether there are settings in which road development can both reduce deforestation and improve socio-economic outcomes. Roads are usually thought to harm forests, but I hypothesize that this may not always be true. Using data from a large scale rural roads program in India, I aim to improve our understanding of deforestation processes and inform the placement of 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 what ‘type’ of communities (more or less cooperative) are most likely to respond positively to payments that are conditional on additional contributions (i.e. above baseline). We also test the impact of community participation in contract design.
Working paper coming soon
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.
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.