Payment-based interventions and non-monetary returns

Payments for ecosystem services (PES) projects, and other efforts like them, often cannot afford to compensate citizens for their entire opportunity costs of cooperating with a policy initiative. While research shows that non-monetary returns to coopertion (i.e., a “warm glow” people feel for engaging in pro-social behavior) can help fill this gap, the strategic dynamics underlying a developer’s choice to invest in establishing non-monetary returns or not remain unclear. I build on recent PES games to explore this issue. Among other things, I show that an interest in limiting costs can give development agencies an incentive to treat non-monetary returns and payments as substitutes rather than complements as intended. I also explore how a threat of elite capture influences an agency’s decision-making in this regard, given that some of the most promising strategies for trying to prime non-monetary returns includes partnering with figures who already command local support.

Bill Schultz
Bill Schultz
Asst. Instructional Professor

My substantive research interests include international development, conservation efforts, and resource politics. Methodologically, I’m interested in geospatial data, causal inference, and game theory.