Economics at your fingertips  

Payments for Environmental Services: Past Performance and Pending Potentials

Sven Wunder, Jan Börner, Driss Ezzine- de-Blas, Sarah Feder and Stefano Pagiola ()

Annual Review of Resource Economics, 2020, vol. 12, issue 1, 209-234

Abstract: We develop a theory of change for payments for environmental services (PES) to review their imminent strengths and weaknesses in light of a growing body of impact evaluation studies. We show that PES are probably at least as environmentally additional as other conservation tools, based on the limited evidence. The original vision of PES as being direct, flexible, and potentially effective remains valid, but PES design and implementation have to be upgraded in their economic functioning to better realize this potential. Adverse self-selection, inadequate administrative targeting, and ill-enforced conditionality constitute three key obstacles that may considerably hamper PES success. Policies such as spatial targeting to service density, threat and cost levels, and payment differentiation can alleviate the design challenges. PES site selection needs to further move into high-threat areas. Making adequate PES design choices also requires the political will to boost environmental effects.

Date: 2020
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (28) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text downloads are only available to subscribers. Visit the abstract page for more information.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

DOI: 10.1146/annurev-resource-100518-094206

Access Statistics for this article

More articles in Annual Review of Resource Economics from Annual Reviews Annual Reviews 4139 El Camino Way Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

Page updated 2023-05-18
Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:12:y:2020:p:209-234