Forest conservation on a budget: Redesigning payments for ecosystem services in Mexico to increase cost-effectiveness

Last registered on June 01, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Forest conservation on a budget: Redesigning payments for ecosystem services in Mexico to increase cost-effectiveness
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007693
Initial registration date
June 01, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
June 01, 2021, 10:18 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Quebec in Outaouais
PI Affiliation
Northwestern University

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-04-12
End date
2023-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Mexico’s national forest protection program, Pago por Servicios Ambientales (PSA), is one of the largest Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) programs worldwide, but its funding has declined sharply recently. This project aims to study whether the program’s cost-effectiveness can be increased by modifying design features. Specifically, we will pilot test the impact of requiring PES participants to enroll all of their eligible forested landholdings ("full enrollment" requirement), relative to the status-quo used by PSA and many other programs that participants can choose which subset of their forest to enroll in the program. We will pilot a full enrollment PSA modified contract among a cohort of PSA applicants who were rejected due to budget constraints in one municipality of Selva Lacandona (Chiapas). We will assess the treatment’s impact on the program take-up rate, avoided deforestation, and participants’ economic well-being.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Izquierdo-Tort, Santiago, Seema Jayachandran and Santiago Saavedra. 2021. "Forest conservation on a budget: Redesigning payments for ecosystem services in Mexico to increase cost-effectiveness." AEA RCT Registry. June 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7693-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We will test a variation of the Mexican Payments for Ecosystem Services (PSA) program in rejected PSA applicants.

T1: Participants will be offered a contract similar to PSA except 1 year in duration instead of 5 years; as in PSA, they can choose how much of their land to enroll (Standard contract).
T2: Like T1 except required to enroll all of their land (Full Enrollment contract).


Intervention Start Date
2021-05-31
Intervention End Date
2022-05-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Take-up
Deforestation on own land
Deforestation leakage
Income
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Deforestation leakage defined as deforestation in other household members plot, and in buffers of 1km, 2km, 5km size around the owner's plot

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In collaboration with the NGO Natura y Ecosistemas Mexicanos A.C. (Natura Mexicana), we have data on individuals that applied to the government PSA but were rejected due to budget constraints.

We collected baseline survey April-May 2021 and validated forest data. We will randomly offer T1 or T2 in June 2021, with 50% of our sample in each arm.

We collect endline survey in May 2022.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual randomization
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
70 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
70 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
35 in T1 and 35 on T2
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Northwestern University Institutional Review Borad
IRB Approval Date
2021-02-17
IRB Approval Number
STU00214258