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The influence of cash and technical assistance on household-level outcomes in payments for hydrological services programs in Chiapas, Mexico

Kelly W. Jones, Carlos L. Muñoz Brenes, Xoco A. Shinbrot, López-Báez, Walter and Rivera-Castañeda, Andrómeda

Ecosystem Services, 2018, vol. 31, issue PA, 208-218

Abstract: This paper examines whether and how payments for hydrological services (PHS) programs implemented on communal lands in Mexico result in household-level conservation and human wellbeing outcomes. We first use evaluation methods to establish the impact of PHS by comparing outcomes across seven communities enrolled, and one community not enrolled, in PHS. Second, we exploit variations in PHS program design across the enrolled communities to test the role of cash and technical assistance on outcomes. Data come from a 2016 cross-sectional survey of 261 households around El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, in Chiapas, Mexico. We find that households enrolled in PHS implement more conservation actions and that some own more assets than similar households not enrolled in PHS. We find that asset ownership is positively correlated with a household’s payment amount and that conservation practices are related to amount of assistance received. We also measure perceived equity and benefits for households enrolled in PHS and find that perceptions are correlated with both payment and assistance, and strongly influenced by community organization. Our results provide evidence that common-property PHS contracts can change household-level conservation and human wellbeing outcomes, but that these changes are dependent on the type of external motivator and community organization.

Keywords: Common property; Ejido; Extrinsic motivators; Forest conservation; Impact evaluation; Payment for ecosystem services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:31:y:2018:i:pa:p:208-218