On the design and implementation of environmental conservation mechanisms: Evidence from field experiments

R.J. Kitessa

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This doctoral dissertation consists of three chapters on the design and implementation of environmental conservation mechanisms using economic experiments.

The first chapter examines how variations in information and context affect the outcomes of valuation using field experiment. The chapter shows the evidence that people’s contributions increase significantly and substantially if attention is drawn to their own responsibility in the deforestation and desertification process, suggesting, the ‘responsibility effect’ is important in the valuation-an extension of the previous examination on the role of behavior in valuation.

The second chapter revisits Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and the determination of the optimal price by comparing the performance of Uniform Price Auctions (UPA) and Take-it-or-leave (TILI) mechanism. Using both laboratory and field experiments it is found that given the same level of price, the sign-up rate to a PES project differs between the two mechanisms. More subjects are willing to sign-up in TILI than was predicted in UPA. The findings also suggest that this disparity can be explained by the hypothesis of more deliberate decision making in UPA than TILI.

The third chapter examines how trust and trustworthiness evolve in the community (engaged in public good provision) to predict the sustainability of common good conservation. The chapter deals with trust and trustworthiness, as important social norms, between the cooperators and non- cooperator in common good provision. The findings of the chapter support the hypothesis that higher trust is placed on the cooperators than non-cooperators with payoff consequences-contrary to standard economic prediction. The cooperator type receives more money, but sends and returns less to non-cooperators which allow the cooperator type to receive a consistently higher payoff- which was predicted by the Ostrom’s theory of collective actions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Tilburg University
  • van der Heijden, Eline, Promotor
  • van Soest, Daan, Promotor
Award date22 May 2018
Place of PublicationTilburg
Print ISBNs978 90 5668 560 7
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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