Las organizaciones comunales de abastecimiento de agua y saneamiento en Costa Rica
La efectividad de una política de descentralización depende de muchos factores y no puede ser concebida como una panacea para solventar los problemas de provisión de agua potable en todos los contextos.
The general objective of the thesis is to analyze the political economy of the regulation of Costa Rica’s transport sector and identify the main opportunities and challenges in designing a more integrated regulatory approach for the sector.
Perhaps current prices of fossil fuels are the reflection of the hurricane's eye passing through the global markets. Before exorbitant oil prices again steal all the attention, it is important to analyze our policies on public and private transport management in general. And in particular fuel tax policies, which is here discussed by Francisco Alpizar, Rebecca Osakwe and Allen Blackman.
Policy makers in developing countries need to balance an array of distributional, political, fiscal and environmental goals in deciding whether to raise fuel taxes. Our analysis demonstrates that distributional concerns need not trump competing goals.
For Costa Rica’s parks and reserves, a threatened location is the key to effectively avoiding deforestation
Because conventional command-and-control environmental regulation often performs poorly in developing countries, policymakers are increasingly experimenting with alternatives, including state-sponsored voluntary regulatory programs that provide incentives, but not mandates, for pollution control.
EfD-CA's research fellows are estimating a cost base structure for the allocation of service concessions and non-essential activities within the protected wilderness areas.
The Effect of Risk, Ambiguity, and Coordination on Farmers´Adaptation to Climate Change: A Framed Field Experiment
The authors used a framed field experiment with coffee farmers in Costa Rica after tropical storm Alma to explore how farmers react to different levels of risk to income and productive means from extreme weather under measurable and unmeasurable uncertainty. They also examined whether investment costs to reduce vulnerability exhibit economies of scope.
There is growing interest in understanding whether behavior is the same across locations. By holding cross- and within-country dimensions constant (in contrast to previous studies on cross-group comparisons of conditional cooperation), the authors investigated cooperative behavior between social groups in the same location. Their results reveal significantly different cooperation behavior, suggesting that different social groups exhibit differences both in terms of composition of types and extent of conditional cooperation.
Alternative Pollution Control Policies in Developing Countries: Informal, Informational, and Voluntary
In developing countries, weak environmental regulatory institutions often undermine conventional command-and-control policies. As a result, these countries are increasingly experimenting with alternative approaches that aim to leverage nonregulatory “green” pressures applied by local communities, capital markets, and consumers. This article reviews three strands of the empirical literature on this trend.
This paper analyzes unintended impacts of the interaction of multiple environmental policy instruments, specifically, the effects of tradable permits and seasonal direct regulations on adoption rates of advanced abatement technologies.
National government-funded payments for environmental services (PES) programs often lack sustainable financing and fail to target payments to providers of important environmental services. In principle, these problems could be mitigated by replacing at least some government funding with direct contributions from individual environmental service users who have incentives to underwrite payments and who can ensure that they are targeted appropriately.
Read María A. Naranjo' opinion article (Estrategias de adaptación al cambio climático en Costa Rica) in "La Nación" (January 28th), related to the EfD Central America Project "Small Farmers' Determinants of Private Adaptation to Climate Change Strategies" (Spanish only).
Read Francisco Alpizar’and Róger Madrigal’ opinion article (Algo más que construir acueductos rurales) in “La Nacion” (January 18th) associated with the EfD Central America Project: Decentralization in water resource management: exploring the determinants of success (Spanish only).
The Costa Rican Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) seeks a new methodology to set the prices of electric power generation that uses renewable and alternative sources of energy.
El caso de los productores de café en Costa Rica
Read Francisco Alpizar’ opinion article (Política integral para el sector transporte) about an Integral Transport Policy for Costa Rica published at “La Nacion” (January 8th). (Spanish only)
Results indicate that visitors look at the behavior of others in deciding if and how much to donate, but partially reject being told what to do. Also, as the social reference moves farther away from average behavior, its effect on the typical visitor is diminished, leading to lower and less frequent donations.
Economic policies that boost profits from agroforesty, thereby creating financial incentives for land managers to favor these systems over less environmentally friendly land uses, could, in theory, have ancillary environmental benefits. This paper analyzes primary and secondary data to determine whether a voluntary price support program for Mexican coffee-mostly grown in shaded systems that supply important ecosystem services- has had such "win-win" benefits by stemming land-use change in the coffee sector.
Santiago was one of the first cities outside the OECD to implement a tradable permit program to control air pollution. This paper looks closely at the program’s performance over the past 10 years, stressing its similarities and discrepancies with trading programs in developed countries, and analyzing how it has reacted to regulatory adjustments and market shocks. Studying Santiago’s experience allows us to discuss the drawbacks and advantages of applying tradable permits in less developed countries.
The author analyzes the role of environmental policies and energy cost savings in the switch to natural gas by stationary sources in Chile. There is skepticism about using market-based policies (economic instruments) in the developing world—permit trading programs versus emissions fees. This paper produces new evidence of the role of environmental regulations and market forces in a successful air-quality improvement program in Chile, a less-developed country.
The author looks at the effects of the choice between taxes and permits on the pattern of adoption of a new emissions abatement technology. The regulator determines the optimal ex-post amount of emissions before firms start to adopt the technology. Each firm decides when to adopt, considering benefits, costs, and advantage gained over their rivals, producing a sequence of adoption that is “diffused” into the industry over time.
Public disclosure programs that collect and disseminate information about firms’ environmental performance are increasingly popular in both developed and developing countries. Yet little is known about whether they actually improve environmental performance, particularly in the latter setting.
Research Fellows Juan Robalino and Roger Madrigal made an important contribution for the Inter-American Development Bank’s project called Quality of Life in Urban Neighborhoods in Costa Rica.
Little is known about land cover change in mixed agroforestry systems, which often supply valuable ecological services. The authors use a spatial regression model to analyze clearing in El Salvador’s shade coffee–growing regions during the 1990s.
A nature field experiment and a choice experiment of the payment system of voluntary contribution. Evidence from Cahuita National Park in Costa Rica.
The authors estimated the deforestation impact of Costa Rica’s pioneering environmental services payments program (Pagos por Servicios Ambientales, or PSA) between 2000 and 2005. Despite finding that less than 1 in 100 of enrolled land parcels would have been deforested annually without payments, the program’s potential for impact was increased by explicitly targeting areas with deforestation pressure and increasing some payments to enroll land that would have been cleared.
Adaptative design and management of a payment for ecosystem services scheme in Copan Ruinas, Honduras
This article presents a case study of development of a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) program related to drinking water in the city of Copán Ruinas, Honduras. (Text in Spanish)
Does Context Matter More for Hypothetical Than for Actual Contributions? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment
Just how important social context is for voluntary contributions is investigated in a natural field experiment, where subjects made either actual or hypothetical contributions to a national park in Costa Rica.
Anonymity, Reciprocity and Conformity: Evidence from Voluntary Contributions to a Natural Park in Costa Rica
In a natural field experiment, the authors quantified the importance of anonymity, reciprocity, and conformity through the provision of social reference levels in order to explain voluntary contributions. In the study setting, the effects of the various treatments were small, suggesting that the self-image as an honorable person, irrespective of other people’s opinions, could be an important explanation of contribution behavior. The experiment overall showed no clear evidence that current practice by charitable organizations is inefficient.
A promising concept that has received considerable attention, Payment-for-ecosystems- services has the potential to become a conventional environmental management tool.
We evaluated the intention, implementation, and impact of Costa Rica’s program of payments for environmental services (PSA), which was established in the late 1990s. Payments are given to private landowners who own land in forest areas in recognition of the ecosystem services their land provides.
Anonymity, Reciprocity, and Conformity: Evidence from Voluntary Contributions to a National Park in Costa Rica
The purpose of this paper is to test the absolute as well as the relative importance of these three reasons for non-selfish behavior. This is done by conducting a natural field experiment on voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica.
As part of the book Frontiers of Biodiversity Economics, Cambridge University Press, this chapter describes a model of interactions in the context of deforestation, based on an equilibrium in beliefs about the neighbours’ actions, and applies the model to data of two regions within Costa Rica.
Does context matter more for hypothetical than for actual contributions? Evidence from a natural field experiment
We investigate the importance of the social context for people’s voluntary contributions to a national park in Costa Rica, using a natural field experiment.
Land Conservation Policies and Income Distribution: Who Bears the Burden of our Environmental Efforts?
We analyze how land conservation policies affect income distribution looking at changes in wages and rents. Land conservation policies restrict the land for agricultural use. We study how these restrictions affect workers and landowners incomes. Aggregate rents rise when protected areas increase despite the reduction of land availability. Real wages decrease as a consequence of higher prices.
We exploited very detailed data on deforestation and roads investments over time to provide estimates of spatial spillovers from road investments in the Brazilian Amazon.
This paper seeks to provide the theoretical underpinnings for the optimal pricing of protected areas used in recreational activities, from the perspective of a local park agency interested in maximizing welfare.
We find, using survey-experimental methods, that most individuals are concerned with both relative income and relative consumption of particular goods. The degree of concern varies in the expected direction depending on the properties of the good.
This paper, examine why markets are being widely proposed to address environmental problems and manage natural resources, give some background on their history, and speculate on their future.
This chapter discusses the use of PES schemes as a suitable market-based instrument to achieve sustainable use and management of ecosystems regarded as important, due to their contribution to human welfare in its many expressions.
Assessing linkages between agriculture and biodiversity in Central America: Historical overview and future perspectives
The objective of this report is to explore the impact of agriculture on biodiversity conservation in Central America, identify the factors which perpetuate or exacerbate agricultural systems or management practices that adversely impact biodiversity conservation, and examine different strategies and approaches that could be used to potentially mitigate some of the negative impacts of agriculture on biodiversity conservation, either by making the agricultural systems more compatible with biodiversity conservation, or by removing the stimuli for agricultural expansion into remaining natural areas or unsustainable agricultural practices.
This paper presents an experimental study of two different pollution compliance games: collective vis-à-vis random fining as a means to regulate non-point pollution. Result suggests the importance of considering subject pool differences in the evaluation of environmental policies by means of experiments, particularly if those policies involve certain forms of management decisions.
Policy implications and analysis of the determinants of travel mode choice: an application of choice experiments to metropolitan Costa Rica
The main objective of thus study is to contribute to the design of policies dealing with the problems of congestion and air pollution in the urban context of a typical developing country.
Choice experiments are becoming ever more frequently applied to the valuation of non-market goods. The purpose of this paper is to give a detailed description of the steps involved in a choice experiment and to discuss the use of this method for valuing non-market goods.
This thesis consists of five papers dealing with fairly heterogeneous issues, based on the problems or topics analyzed, but also based on the methodologies used to approach them. The overriding motives are the design of environmental policies in the context of a typical developing country (where Costa Rica is used as a representative of such countries), and the study and application of techniques that can provide the necessary information for policy-making.