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Money Growing on Trees: A Classroom Game about Payments for Ecosystem Services and Tropical Deforestation

Sahan Dissanayake () and Sarah Jacobson ()

No 2020-06, Department of Economics Working Papers from Department of Economics, Williams College

Abstract: Payments for ecosystem services programs use a market-based approach to pursue environmental goals. While they are common policy tools, key concepts that can determine their efficacy are nuanced and hard to grasp. We present a new interactive game that explores the functioning and implications of payments for ecosystem services programs. Participants play the role of rural households in a developing country. They decide individually or as groups whether to enter into contracts to receive payment from the United Nations REDD+ program to refrain from harvesting from a local forest. The game explores topics including: payments for ecosystem services programs; climate change; tropical deforestation; cost-effectiveness; additionality; contract fraud and enforcement; and community resource management. We provide customizable materials, a detailed reading list, and prompts for discussion.

Keywords: classroom game; payments for ecosystem services; REDD+; market-based regulation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A22 Q23 Q54 Q56 Q57 Q58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 63 pages
Date: 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env and nep-pay
Note: This is a revised version of paper 2019-09.
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Related works:
Journal Article: Money growing on trees: A classroom game about payments for ecosystem services and tropical deforestation (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Money Growing on Trees: A Classroom Game about Payments for Ecosystem Services and Tropical Deforestation (2019) Downloads
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