Equity vs. Conservation: Can Payments for Environmental Services (PES) achieve both?

This paper investigates the trade-off between equity and conservation outcomes of two alternative Payment for Environmental Services (PES) schemes, using the results of a framed field experiment (public good game). Particularly, we investigate two alternative PES schemes under endowment heterogeneity and heterogeneity in the opportunity costs of conservation. We test an equal PES scheme, where a fixed flat rate per conserved hectare is paid and an unequal PES scheme, which compensates according to the opportunity costs of conservation. Main findings indicate that the introduction of an unequal PES scheme does not necessarily come at the cost of conservation. Furthermore, the results show that an unequal PES may function as a redistribution instrument by realigning earnings towards the low-endowed subjects.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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