CEP/STICERD Applications Seminars
Money (Not) to Burn: Payments for Ecosystem Services to Reduce Crop Residue Burning
Seema Jayachandran (Princeton University), joint with B. Kelsey Jack, Namrata Kala, and Rohini Pande
Monday 22 May 2023 12:00 - 13:30
SAL 1.04, 1st Floor Conference Room, Sir Arthur Lewis Building, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH
About this event
Particulate matter significantly reduces life expectancy in India. We use a randomized controlled trial in the Indian state of Punjab to evaluate the effectiveness of conditional cash transfers (also known as payments for ecosystem services, or PES) in reducing crop residue burning, which is a major contributor to the region’s poor air quality. Credit constraints and distrust may make farmers less likely to comply with standard PES contracts, which only pay the participant after verification of compliance. We randomize paying a portion of the money upfront and unconditionally. Despite receiving a lower reward for compliance, farmers offered partial upfront payment are 8-11 percentage points more likely to comply than are farmers offered the standard contract. Burning measures derived from satellite imagery indicate that PES with upfront payments significantly reduced burning, while standard PES payments were inframarginal. We also show that PES with an upfront component is a cost-effective way to improve India’s air quality.
Participants are expected to adhere to the CEP Events Code of Conduct.
This event will take place in SAL 1.04, 1st Floor Conference Room, Sir Arthur Lewis Building, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH.The building is labelled SAL on the LSE campus map. You can also find us on Google Maps. For further information, go to contact us.
This series is part of the CEP's Labour Markets programme.