Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 19 > Issue 1

Do farmers or governments make better land conservation choices? Evidence from China's Sloping Land Conversion Program

Peter Kelly, , peter.kelly@yahoo.com Xuexi Huo, , xuexihuo@nwsuaf.edu.cn
 
Suggested Citation
Peter Kelly and Xuexi Huo (2013), "Do farmers or governments make better land conservation choices? Evidence from China's Sloping Land Conversion Program", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 19: No. 1, pp 32-60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfe.2012.08.002

Published: 0/1/2013
© 0 2013 Peter Kelly, Xuexi Huo
 
Subjects
 
Keywords
JEL Codes:O13Q23R52
ReforestationPayments for environmental servicesSloping Land Conversion ProgramChina
 

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In this article:
Introduction
Descriptive and reduced-form regression results
Decision-making and theory
Testing the hypotheses
Discussion of farmer versus local government decision-making
Robustness and potential biases
Discussion and conclusions

Abstract

In developing countries with small holdings, targeting payments-for-environmental-services prices to site-specific environmental benefits becomes administratively impractical. Instead, governments fix price and either dictate parcel enrollment or let farmers decide, which might be expected to maximize environmental benefits and minimize opportunity costs, respectively. No paper has actually tested such hypotheses in a developing-country setting. This paper examines China's Sloping Land Conversion Program, with 32 million planting forests, using a unique dataset on 3397 parcels, including farmer-choice and government-choice parcels. Farmers consider similar criteria to local governments but weight land characteristics within the farm (not the landscape) and household characteristics.

DOI:10.1016/j.jfe.2012.08.002