Environmental conditional cash transfers are popular but their impacts are not well understood. We evaluate land cover and wealth impacts of a federal program that pays landowners for protecting forest. Panel data for program beneficiaries and rejected applicants allow us to control for fixed differences and time trends affecting both groups. We find the program reduces the expected land cover loss by 40-51 percent and generates small but positive poverty alleviation. Environmental gains are higher where poverty is low while household gains are higher where deforestation risk is low, illustrating the difficulty of meeting multiple policy goals with one tool. (JEL I32, I38, O13, O15, Q23, Q28, Q56)
Alix-Garcia, Jennifer M., Katharine R. E. Sims, and Patricia Yañez-Pagans.
"Only One Tree from Each Seed? Environmental Effectiveness and Poverty Alleviation in Mexico's Payments for Ecosystem Services Program."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Renewable Resources and Conservation: Forestry
Renewable Resources and Conservation: Government Policy
Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth