Beyond a Market Discourse: Is Framing a Solution to Avoid Motivational Crowding-Out in Payments for Ecosystem Services?

29 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2021

See all articles by Adriana Bernal-Escobar

Adriana Bernal-Escobar

Universität Osnabrück - Institute for Environmental Systems Research

Stefanie Engel

School of Economics and Business Administration

Estelle Midler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 23, 2021

Abstract

The implementation of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) raises concerns about the effects of external economic incentives on intrinsic motivations. Their instrumental orientation could send an implicit signal that people have the right to degrade unless they get paid not to do so. Nevertheless, it has been suggested that features in the design and implementation of PES programs could help mediate motivational crowding if they are able to align PES goals with an individual’s intrinsic motivations. In this paper, we investigate whether the discourse used to communicate the policy, i.e. the framing of the policy, could be one mediating feature. We use a lab-in-the-field experiment with farmers in Colombia, to compare treatments with equivalent payment structures but differing in the framing used to communicate the PES policy. Acknowledging forest conservation as an achievement resulted in better conservation outcomes relative to a control framing. Emphasizing the cultural ecosystem services obtained from forests could also mitigate potential crowding-out effects associated with emphasizing only the targeted water services, although the results are not conclusive. Thus, our findings stress the importance of the framing used to communicate the PES policy, which could be a rather inexpensive tool to increase policy effectiveness and to mitigate the potential motivational crowding-out effects associated to the use of monetary incentives.

Keywords: Framing, PES, Motivational crowding

JEL Classification: Q57, Q58

Suggested Citation

Bernal-Escobar, Adriana and Engel, Stefanie and Midler, Estelle, Beyond a Market Discourse: Is Framing a Solution to Avoid Motivational Crowding-Out in Payments for Ecosystem Services? (August 23, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3910112 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3910112

Adriana Bernal-Escobar (Contact Author)

Universität Osnabrück - Institute for Environmental Systems Research ( email )

Barbarastr. 12
Osnabrueck, 49076
Germany

Stefanie Engel

School of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Barbarastr. 12
Osnabrueck, 49076
Germany

Estelle Midler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
69
Abstract Views
356
Rank
604,425
PlumX Metrics