RSS | Jennifer Alix-Garcia – Using referenda to improve targeting and decrease costs of environmental conditional cash transfers

29 November, 2017 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Jennifer Alix-Garcia
London School of Economics, Tower 2, Room 9.04, Clement's Inn Passage, London, WC2A 2AZ

Jennifer Alix-Garcia, Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will be the speaker for this seminar.

This seminar is open to all LSE staff and students. If you are from outside the LSE and would like to attend, please email Gri.Events@lse.ac.uk to register for a place.


We measure the willingness to accept of contracts for environmental conditional cash transfers among applicants to Mexico’s payments for ecosystem services program. These estimates are significantly lower than the payments offered by the program, suggesting a substantial transfer of surplus to recipients. We simulate adjustments to targeting and to payment levels. We find that targeting solely on deforestation risk can both increase program effectiveness and enrolment of the poor. We also propose a scheme for setting payment levels based on predicted willingness to accept that would be relatively easy to implement given a simple survey referendum question. Simulations show significant cost savings from payments designed this way, with similar potential program effectiveness.

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