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Ecological Economics
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.657
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 162  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0921-8009
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3182 journals]
  • Exposure to green areas: Modelling health benefits in a context of study
           heterogeneity
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Aline Chiabai, Sonia Quiroga, Pablo Martinez-Juarez, Cristina Suárez, Silvestre García de Jalón, Tim Taylor Although the beneficial health effects of green areas are gaining recognition, epidemiological studies show mixed results with significance varying considerably by study and context, indicating that there is no unique and clear evidence. This relationship is influenced by multiple factors and characterised by high complexity not previously been incorporated in one single analysis. This study proposes a new application of the Heckman selection model to find evidence of key patterns emerging throughout the literature and identify main determinants affecting the relationship. The model aggregates outcomes of different studies and allows an assessment of both significant and non-significant results from the literature in order to correct for unobserved selection bias. Close attention is paid to the relevance of the background, particularly socioeconomic context. The results show significant health benefits associated with increased exposure to green areas, where higher risk reductions are observed for old and adult age groups, as well as in poorer countries, taking into account the correction for the publication bias. This last issue points towards a redistributive impact of green areas in terms of health and the importance of co-benefits arising from Ecosystem-based Adaptation, especially in poorer neighbourhoods, translating in health care savings and reduced productivity loss.
       
  • Compounding the Disturbance: Family Forest Owner Reactions to Invasive
           Forest Insects
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Marla Markowski-Lindsay, Mark E. Borsuk, Brett J. Butler, Matthew J. Duveneck, Jonathan Holt, David B. Kittredge, Danelle Laflower, Meghan Graham MacLean, David Orwig, Jonathan R. Thompson Invasive forest insect and pathogens (FIP) are having significant, direct, adverse impacts. Interactions between FIPs and forest owners have the potential to create ecosystem impacts that compound direct impacts. We assessed family forest owners' responses to numerous contingent behavior, FIP-outbreak scenarios in the northeastern USA based on FIP outbreak attributes. The survey was divided into four versions and each respondent was given four hypothetical scenarios and asked to gauge their certainty of each response. Sixty-eight percent of the hypothetical scenario responses (n = 2752) indicated an intent to harvest as a result of FIPs, and 49% indicated this intent with certainty. Eighty-four percent of respondents (n = 688) would consider harvesting for at least one of the four hypothetical scenarios presented, and 67% of respondents were certain of their intent to harvest for at least one of the four hypothetical scenarios. Harvest intention increased with greater FIP-related tree mortality and decreased with delayed total tree mortality. Owners with larger holdings, who had previously harvested forest products, and live on their forestland had greater intentions to harvest in response to FIPs. Results suggest that FIPs could transform the regional harvest regime with socio-ecological impacts that are distinct from those caused by FIPs or harvesting alone.
       
  • Private sustainability standards as tools for empowering southern
           pro-regulatory coalitions' Collaboration, conflict and the pursuit of
           sustainable palm oil
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Kate Macdonald The social and environmental impact of commodity production in the global south is now governed by an array of global market-driven standard-setting schemes, which interact with state-centred legal and administrative governance ‘on the ground’ in producing countries. Drawing on a case study of contested regulatory governance in the Indonesian palm oil sector, this paper investigates the effects of interactions between (northern) market-based and (southern) state-centred regulatory authorities. Analysis shows that it is not the collaborative or conflictual character of governance interactions that matters most in shaping regulatory capacity, but rather how such interactions influence the motivations, capacities and legitimacy claims of competing regulatory coalitions within commodity producing jurisdictions. While conflictual pathways of regulatory empowerment can sometimes be productive, their effects on destabilizing power relations between elite and marginalised actors in producing countries render them distinctively vulnerable to legitimacy challenges from incumbent powerholders. This generates dilemmas for global regulators, whose efforts to influence change through strategies of empowering southern pro-regulatory coalitions are subject to challenge from competing coalitions of southern actors.
       
  • Swimming in their own direction: Explaining domestic variation in
           homegrown sustainability governance for aquaculture in Asia
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Yixian Sun, Hamish van der Ven Agricultural commodity production in the Global South is accompanied by a range of social and environmental problems ranging from pollution and deforestation to labor rights violations. Accordingly, governments and non-state actors have responded through various governance initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable commodity production. While the existing literature focuses largely on transnational standards originating in the North, we investigate “homegrown” approaches in the South by asking: what explains variation in the design and features of sustainable commodity governance led by Southern actors' By comparing sustainable aquaculture governance in Thailand, Vietnam, and China, we derive a novel conceptualization of two distinct types of homegrown governance approaches – certification standards and capability-building programs – and suggest that the choice between the two is contingent on the supply of, and demand for, sustainable commodity governance. We find decisions by Southern governments to supply governance can lock in top-down approaches and exclude potentially more impactful bottom-up approaches. We therefore argue that the material resources and normative concerns of Southern governance entrepreneurs lead to different homegrown approaches. Our findings contribute theoretical insights to the literature on transnational governance interactions and practical observations about the utility of different approaches to sustainability concerns in the Global South.
       
  • Understanding farmers' reluctance to reduce pesticide use: A choice
           experiment
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Benoît Chèze, Maia David, Vincent Martinet Despite reducing the use of pesticides being a major challenge in developed countries, dedicated agri-environmental policies have not yet proven successful in doing so. We analyze conventional farmers' willingness to reduce their use of synthetic pesticides. To do so, we conduct a discrete choice experiment that includes the risk of large production losses due to pests. Our results indicate that this risk strongly limits farmers' willingness to change their practices, regardless of the consequences on average profit. Furthermore, the administrative burden has a significant effect on farmers' decisions. Reducing the negative health and environmental impacts of pesticides is a significant motivator only when respondents believe that pesticides affect the environment. Farmers who earn revenue from outside their farms and/or believe that yields can be maintained while reducing the use of pesticides are significantly more willing to adopt low-pesticide practices. Policy recommendations are derived from our results.
       
  • Can product bundling increase the joint adoption of electric vehicles,
           solar panels and battery storage' Explorative evidence from a
           choice-based conjoint study in Austria
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Alfons Priessner, Nina Hampl Although electric vehicle (EV) sales have recently been increasing, EVs can only contribute to mitigating climate change if the power they require is generated from renewable energy sources. Hence, a product bundle of EVs with photovoltaic (PV) solar panels in combination with battery storage (BS) for households could be instrumental in improving EV adoption rates and thus also their carbon footprint. We conducted a choice-based conjoint experiment with 393 respondents in Austria to investigate the effect of EV-PV-BS product bundles on purchase intention. Our data show that a majority of potential EV drivers, given the choice, would prefer to purchase an EV in such a bundle. Further, the purchase intention for a PV and BS is twice as high in a bundle with an EV than standalone. Segmentation analysis identified four potential customer segments, which we labelled “Price-Sensitive Non-Owners”, “Energy Self-Sufficient Owners”, “Economically Rational Owners” and “Likely Non-Adopters”. The segments specifically differ in their product preferences, which highlights a need for designing customized bundle offerings. Moreover, we show that policy incentives are more effective when product bundles are labelled with price tags already discounted by subsidies. We draw implications for practitioners and policymakers, as well as proposing areas of further research.
       
  • Learning to change: Transformative knowledge for building a sustainable
           bioeconomy
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Sophie Urmetzer, Jan Lask, Ricardo Vargas-Carpintero, Andreas Pyka The transition towards a bioeconomy is considered a powerful approach to combating current trends of unsustainability. To date, the concept has been widely perceived as a predominantly technical endeavor. This is, however, not sufficient and will not really tackle the global sustainability challenges. Therefore, the imparting of technological knowledge must be accompanied by instruction in other types of knowledge, particularly transformative knowledge. The authors explore the various elements of transformative knowledge necessary to equip the protagonists of a bioeconomy transformation. On this basis, four academic bioeconomy programs across Europe are analyzed using a hybrid methodological approach, combining a keyword-based content analysis of the module descriptions with semi-structured interviews of key representatives of the programs. It is shown that the syllabi of all four programs include important elements of transformative knowledge, such as communication, participation, and decision making skills. Skills related to the ability to revise and reflect personal values, in contrast, are mainly only an implicit part of the program. The study applies insights into education for sustainable development to the requirements of a fundamental transformation towards a sustainable bioeconomy. It offers a first appraisal of the consideration transformative knowledge is given in the design of European academic bioeconomy curricula.
       
  • Taking stock of the empirical evidence on the insurance value of
           ecosystems
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Martin Dallimer, Julia Martin-Ortega, Olivia Rendon, Stavros Afionis, Rosalind Bark, Iain J. Gordon, Jouni Paavola Ecosystems can buffer against adverse events and, by so doing, reduce the costs of risk-bearing to society; benefits which have been termed ‘insurance value’. Although the terminology is recent, the concept is older and has its roots in ecological resilience. However, a synthesis of studies through the lens of the insurance value concept is lacking. Here we fill this important knowledge gap by conducting a rapid evidence assessment on how, where and why the insurance value of ecosystems has been measured. The review highlighted the often substantial positive values that were associated with restoration, rehabilitation or avoidance of loss of natural ecosystems. However, many regions, ecosystems and hazards are not widely researched. Most studies focused on forests, agriculture and wetlands, often with an emphasis on habitat restoration to reduce flood risks. Over half the studies provided non-monetary or monetary estimates of value, reporting, for example, improved ecological function, achieved/achievable cost reductions or willingness-to-pay. Nevertheless, the evidence-base remains fragmentary and is characterised by inconsistent reporting of valuation methodologies. This precludes drawing general conclusions. We recommend that future studies of insurance value adopt a common approach to facilitate the development of a more robust evidence-base.
       
  • Agroforestry as a pathway to agricultural yield impacts in climate-smart
           agriculture investments: Evidence from southern Malawi
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Festus O. Amadu, Daniel C. Miller, Paul E. McNamara Agroforestry is widely promoted for delivering not only the main food security objective of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) but also increasing resilience and mitigating climate change. Yet rigorous estimates of the impact of this pathway on agricultural yields in CSA interventions remain limited. Here we analyze maize yield effects of agroforestry within a large CSA project, funded by the US Agency for International Development and implemented from 2009 to 2014 in southern Malawi. Using original survey data from 808 households across five districts, we apply a double hurdle specification with a control function approach to account for the endogeneity of CSA program participation and the intensity of agroforestry fertilizer trees (as a proxy for agroforestry adoption) in the study area. We find a positive and statistically significant yield effect of CSA program participation and the intensity of agroforestry fertilizer trees: maize yields increased, on average, by 20% for participation, and 2% for the intensity of fertilizer trees – a modest but useful result with implications for increasing agricultural productivity among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere. More broadly, our results show that incorporating agroforestry into CSA interventions could enhance agricultural yields among smallholder farmers in the face of climate change — a crucial aspect of sustainable development goals on hunger and climate adaptation.
       
  • Compensating deforestation with forest surplus: Key regulatory issues
           within Brazil's atlantic forest
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Júlio César da Cruz, César Falcão Barella, Alberto Fonseca Brazil has created a market mechanism for compensating past deforestation based on the acquisition of forest surplus from different properties. This mechanism, known in Brazil as the ‘CRA market’, could become the world's largest forest compensation program. The success of this market depends on the specifics of regulations that are yet to come. The objective of this article was to explore three relevant issues to the regulation of a future CRA market within the Atlantic Forest of Minas Gerais state: the balance between supply and demand; incentives for trade in priority areas; and potential policy overlaps between different compensation programs. Based on geospatial evaluations and content analysis of government documents, the study revealed a potential oversupply of CRAs in the Minas Gerais Atlantic Forest, as surplus areas were found to be 2.76 greater than deficit areas. Eventual incentives for trade in priority areas could lessen oversupply, but unfold into sensitive territorial trade-offs. The potential overlap between the CRA market and the existing compensation program of the Atlantic Forest Act, while still unclear, is unlikely to be a very relevant one. Future avenues of research are suggested.
       
  • Multiple shocks and households' choice of coping strategies in rural
           Cambodia
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Thanh-Tung Nguyen, Trung Thanh Nguyen, Ulrike Grote A detailed understanding of households' shock-coping capacity is needed to design appropriate social safety net programs and interventions. We use a 2-year panel dataset from rural Cambodia to seek answers to the following research questions: (i) are rural households forced to reduce their consumption due to shocks' and (ii) what are the factors affecting households' choice of shock-coping strategies in response to shocks' The results of econometric models reveal that most covariate shocks have significant and negative effects on household consumption. In particular, total consumption expenditure and food consumption expenditure are negatively affected by floods, whereas household education expenditure is negatively affected by livestock diseases. These shocks also force households to use coping strategies of selling durable assets and extracting natural resources. Although droughts appear not to significantly affect household consumption, these shocks push households into using child labor, selling durable assets or extracting natural resources. Household consumption is shown to be not significantly affected by health shocks. Borrowing and receiving assistance from friends and relatives are identified as major coping strategies in response to health shocks. Our findings call for assistance programs to support households in preventing and mitigating the effects of floods, droughts and livestock diseases.
       
  • Design and meaning of the genuine progress indicator: A statistical
           analysis of the U.S. fifty-state model
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Mairi-Jane V. Fox, Jon D. Erickson The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) was designed to reveal the trade-offs between costs and benefits of economic growth. Although originally estimated and contrasted with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at national scales, an interest in a state-level adoption has developed in the United States to inform and guide policy. As GPI scholarship and a community of practice has developed, questions have arisen about the quality and legitimacy of the GPI. To investigate, we apply a composite indicator analysis developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to fifty US state GPI estimates using a consistent method. We focus on a multi-variate analysis of the structure of the composite, sensitivity to weighting and aggregation assumptions, and the statistical relationship with other well-being indicators. Results are heavily influenced by a small number of components, point to a number of unintended policy outcomes, and have mixed relationships with allied indicators. The study suggests steps towards shared GPI governance among practitioners and researchers, consideration of data parsimony and potential double-counting, and data selection criteria to help fill gaps, prioritize needs, and better articulate the purpose and meaning of GPI.
       
  • Unintended impacts from forest certification: Evidence from indigenous Aka
           households in Congo
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Jacqueline Doremus Does Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of “responsible” commercial forestry change nutrition, health and wealth for indigenous peoples, like the Aka of the Congo Basin' Using hand-collected data from the boundary of a certified and an uncertified forest in the Republic of Congo five years after certification, I compare nutrition, health, and wealth using questions that are locally salient and survey timing designed to reach semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers. Though I only observe outcomes after certification, using a spatial regression discontinuity design I find suggestive evidence that activities to satisfy forest certification may cause increased food insecurity and illness frequency for Aka households. I find no evidence of increased material wealth; instead, the poorest 15th percentile is poorer for Aka households. Non-Aka households are unaffected. Activities to satisfy FSC include a road connection, likely requested by non-Aka households, which in combination with hunting restrictions may decrease food security for Aka hunter-gatherers.
       
  • South-South trade and sustainable development: The case of Ceylon tea
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Michael J. Bloomfield While there is a substantial body of research focused on the links between North-South trade and sustainable development, research on South-South trade and sustainable development is still in its infancy. Given current understandings of the drivers of sustainable development, one might expect increasing trade in agricultural commodities within the global South to have a negative impact on sustainable development opportunities. In this sense, the Ceylon tea industry presents a puzzle. Despite exporting most of its tea to Southern markets, it has been among the top performers in terms of economic, social, and environmental practices. As such, the case raises a number of questions around shifting trade patterns and their implications for sustainability outcomes. I address these questions through four propositions – three mechanisms and one condition – through which South-South trade can expand the opportunities for sustainable development. While the exact nature of sustainable development outcomes will ultimately be decided through domestic political struggles, shifts toward more equal trade can make sustainable production more likely. Overall, the analysis draws attention to nuanced ways in which end markets shape their respective supply chains and how these dynamics impact the potential for actors operating at the bottom of supply chains to shape sustainability outcomes.
       
  • Obituary: Giorgio Nebbia (1926–2019)
    • Abstract: Publication date: January 2020Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 167Author(s): Franco Ruzzenenti
       
  • Consumers in a Circular Economy: Economic Analysis of Household Waste
           Sorting Behaviour
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Doan Nainggolan, Anders Branth Pedersen, Sinne Smed, Kahsay Haile Zemo, Berit Hasler, Mette Termansen The present research provides a quantitative assessment of households' preferences for different waste separation and handling schemes. We employ a choice-experiment based, nation-wide survey across Denmark. The findings support four different types of “waste sorters”; reflecting the heterogeneity in household waste sorting preferences. To illustrate, while one segment responds favourably towards sorting systems with the possibility for local collection points for hazardous waste and for sorting bio-waste, some segments express opposite responses. We found statistically significant relationships between the heterogeneity in household preferences for home waste sorting and households' sociodemographic characteristics, current self-reported time allocation for waste sorting and handling, use of recycling facilities as well as attitudinal factors on personal motivation and social influence. Furthermore, the findings reveal trade-offs between households' waste sorting preferences and the amount of time they have to spend sorting. We estimate a value of time for this pro-environmental activity of between 2.8 and 6.3 EUR per hour. Overall, the present research demonstrates that households express different preferences towards the practical design of waste sorting systems. This needs to be considered in the development of policy initiatives in order to achieve more effective sorting systems through higher rates of compliance from the public at large.
       
  • Mixed monetary and non-monetary valuation of attractive urban green space:
           A case study using Amsterdam house prices
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Michiel N. Daams, Frans J. Sijtsma, Paolo Veneri This paper offers new insight into the monetary value of green space at the intra-urban level. To this end, an established monetary valuation method, hedonic price analysis, is integrated with a relatively novel non-monetary valuation method. In specific, online value mapping-based survey data (N = 723) are used to inform hedonic models of the preferences that potential home buyers may have for nearby attractive green spaces. The estimation uses data on 35,298 home transactions in the Amsterdam agglomeration's urban core. Homes nearby attractive green space are found to sell at a price premium, which decays with distance and becomes negligible after one kilometer. The estimated price-effect varies from 7.1%–9.3% for houses within 0.25 km from the nearest attractive green space to 1.7%–2.3% for houses located at 0.75–1.0 km away, depending on the scale at which omitted spatial variables are controlled for. Adding to the discussion of spatial controls in this type of analysis, the controls are evaluated at multiple scales and a metric that simplifies the interpretation of the scale of spatial controls – the mean equalized diameter – is introduced. This study's findings may inform policymakers who seek to maximize the well-being of urban citizens through public investments in attractive amenities.
       
  • The effects of neighbour influence and cultural consumption on separate
           waste collection. Theoretical framework and empirical investigation
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Massimiliano Agovino, Massimiliano Cerciello, Gaetano Musella Separate waste collection (SWC) is a policy priority for EU countries. This work investigates the effect of neighbour influence and cultural consumption on municipal SWC, with a twofold focus: first, it outlines a simple theoretical framework where the motivations underlying pro-environmental behaviours are influence by neighbour effects and cultural consumption. Second, it tests the theoretical results, implementing a quantile regression on Italian municipal data for 2012. The results confirm that neighbours influence each other, while different cultural goods produce different effects. These findings indicate that the cultural policy may play a relevant role in tackling environmental issues.
       
  • Overcapitalization and social norms of cooperation in a small-scale
           fishery
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Robbert Schaap, Andries Richter The increasing technological efficiency of harvesting equipment has been identified as one of the main causes of overcapacity and overexploitation of natural resources. In this paper, a formal model is developed which studies the effects of technological efficiency as an endogenous variable within a bioeconomic system. We model capital investments in a fishery, where investment decisions are made less frequently than the allocation of variable inputs. We study how the possibility to invest in capital affects open access dynamics, and also the evolution of cooperative harvesting norms. We find that the possibility to make large capital investments can destabilize cooperation, especially if enforcement capacity is low. Further, we find that communities can preserve cooperation by agreeing on a resource level that is lower than socially-optimal. This reduces the incentive to deviate from the cooperative strategy and invest in capital.
       
  • Anticipatory effects of taxation in the commons: When do taxes work, and
           when do they fail'
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Ana Espinola-Arredondo, Félix Muñoz-García, Isaac Duah This paper considers a common-pool resource where a regulator announces a new policy curbing appropriation (usage fee). While firms respond reducing their appropriation once the fee is in effect, we identify under which conditions firms choose to increase their appropriation before the fee comes into effect. We demonstrate that this policy-induced appropriation increase is more likely when: (1) several firms compete for the resource; (2) firms sustain some market power; (3) firms impose significant cost externalities on each other; and (4) the resource is scarce. Our results, therefore, indicate that policy announcements can trigger increases in resource exploitation before the policy comes into effect.
       
  • Experimental evidence of an environmental attitude-behavior gap in
           high-cost situations
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Mike Farjam, Olexandr Nikolaychuk, Giangiacomo Bravo So far, there has been mixed evidence in the literature regarding the relationship between environmental attitudes and actual ‘green’ actions, something known as the attitude-behavior gap. This raises the question of when attitudes can actually work as a lever to promote environmental objectives, such as climate change mitigation, and, conversely, when other factors would be more effective. This paper presents an online experiment with real money at stake and real-world consequences designed to test the effect of environmental attitudes on behavior under various conditions. We found that environmental attitudes affected behavior only in low-cost situations. This finding is consistent with the low-cost hypothesis of environmental behavior postulating that concerned individuals will undertake low-cost actions in order to reduce the cognitive dissonance between their attitudes and rational realization of the environmental impact of their behavior but avoid higher-cost actions despite their greater potential as far as environmental protection. This finding has important consequences for the design of more effective climate policies as it puts limits on what can be achieved by raising environmental concern alone.
       
  • Groundwater management institutions in the face of rapid urbanization –
           Results of a framed field experiment in Bengaluru, India
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Johannes Wegmann, Oliver Mußhoff Many aquifers in semi-arid and arid regions with rapid urbanization are over-exploited or even at the point of depletion. Driven by the increased demand for food and other agricultural products, irrigated agriculture constitutes the biggest user of groundwater, and has thus contributed to this critical situation. In this paper, we compare different designs of groundwater management institutions in order to avoid aquifer over-exploitation and ensure secure water sources. We assess externally imposed reward-based and punishment rules as well as communication on their effectiveness to reduce water extraction behavior of groundwater users. Moreover, we evaluate how different user types affect the outcome of these institutional designs. To do so, we conducted a framed field experiment with 600 households along the rural-urban interface of the fast growing city of Bengaluru, India. Results indicate that all treatments can prolong the life of the resource but reward-based and punishment rules seem to be more effective than communication. Moreover, we find that user type behavior identified in the baseline trial is persistent in the treatment trial despite interventions.
       
  • Ecological Fiscal Transfers for Biodiversity Conservation Policy: A
           Transaction Costs Analysis of Minas Gerais, Brazil
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Felipe Luiz Lima de Paulo, Pedro Jorge Sobral Camões This paper addresses the influence of ecological fiscal transfers (EFT) on the policy-making process of adopting local protected areas (PA) by municipal governments. Framed on the transaction-cost politics (TCP), it argues that an EFT schema designed at the state level may affect the expected payoff/costs of local level decisions and the time length to create PA. The mixed research design is composed of two parts: first, a descriptive analysis detailing the evolution of EFT in the state of Minas Gerais since the beginning until its current version; second, an event history analysis of municipal PA adoption from 1966 to 2013. The conclusion suggests that, while there is an overall increase in municipal PA after the introduction of EFT, some design aspects of the instrument such as uncertainty and monitoring costs slowed and flattened that increase.
       
  • Tradeoffs between resistance to antimicrobials in public health and their
           use in agriculture: Moving towards sustainability assessment
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Guillaume Lhermie, Didier Wernli, Peter Søgaard Jørgensen, Donald Kenkel, C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell, Loren William Tauer, Yrjo Tapio Gröhn Antimicrobial use (AMU) in animal agriculture contributes to select resistant bacteria potentially transferred to humans directly or indirectly via the food chain, representing a public health hazard. Yet, a major difference triggering AMU in food animal production is that in addition to therapeutic cure, farmers use antimicrobials to keep their herds healthy and highly productive, while ensuring animal welfare and food safety objectives. As a society, we consequently face difficult tradeoffs, between massive restrictions of AMU, and maintenance of current and potentially non-sustainable consumption levels. Here, we present the different components to be addressed for assessing the sustainability of AMU in animal agriculture. At first, we describe the interests and limits of existing models identified by reviewing the literature, which could potentially be used to assess AMU sustainability, while allowing the reader to capture in a simple and visual manner the complexity of the issue. We address in the following sections the boundaries of the social-ecological system and the indicators that are required for assessment of AMU sustainability. We introduce analytic methods that could be used for assessing the sustainability of antimicrobial use.
       
  • In-kind conservation payments crowd in environmental values and increase
           support for government intervention: A randomized trial in Bolivia
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Tara Grillos, Patrick Bottazzi, David Crespo, Nigel Asquith, Julia P.G. Jones There is growing use of economic incentives such as Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) to encourage sustainable land management. An important critique is that such approaches may unintentionally disrupt environmental and social values, ‘crowding out’ pre-existing motivations to conserve. Some scholars suggest that the use of in-kind payments and norm-based framing, rather than financial transfers and a market framing, can mitigate these risks. There are calls to use more robust methods for impact evaluation in environmental policy. We use one of the only Randomized Controlled Trials of a conservation incentive scheme to evaluate its impact on self-stated environmental and social values and beliefs. Data from before and after the intervention, from households in villages randomly selected to receive the program or not, demonstrate that the program increased prioritization of environmental values (evidence of crowding-in as opposed to crowding out) and altered social beliefs related to inequality and the role of government. The findings demonstrate that this conservation program had a positive impact on environmental values and increased the belief that government involvement is appropriate. The scheme, with its use of in-kind payments and reciprocity framing, offers lessons to those seeking to develop effective schemes to incentivize positive environmental stewardship.
       
  • A Structured Approach to Attribute Selection in Economic Valuation
           Studies: Using Q-methodology
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2019Source: Ecological Economics, Volume 166Author(s): Anne Kejser Jensen The literature on economic valuation of ecosystem services increasingly recognizes that the welfare generating endpoint of biophysical changes could potentially be heterogeneous across individuals in the population. This paper suggests Q-methodology as a structured and transparent approach to attribute selection in Discrete Choice Experiments that is easy to document, by combining the in-depth subjectivity of qualitative methods and the statistical rigor of factor analysis to identify groups in the population. Valid welfare estimates are dependent on the beneficiaries being presented with relevant attributes in the scenario description. This paper develops and implements a three-step procedure to: 1) identify potential groups of beneficiaries motivated by distinct ecosystem service endpoints 2) classify respondents in a Discrete Choice Experiment into groups of beneficiaries, according to their ecosystem service motivation, and 3) tailor the design of the Discrete Choice Experiment to the group-specific ecosystem service endpoints of the beneficiaries. The application explores potential heterogeneity in the ecosystem service endpoints derived from water quality improvements in Denmark.
       
  • Corrigendum to “The impact of a carbon tax on inequality” [Ecol. Econ.
           163 (2019) 88–97]
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 June 2019Source: Ecological EconomicsAuthor(s): Anders Fremstad, Mark Paul
       
 
 
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