Conditional Cash Transfers and Payments for Environmental Services—A Conceptual Framework for Explaining and Judging Differences in Outcomes
Journal article, 2013

We develop a conceptual framework elucidating the main determinants of the impact of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and Payments for Environmental Services (PES) programs. Using a simple multi-agent model and evaluations of existing programs, we show that (1) the share of the population who would meet the program’s conditions in the absence of payments is a powerful predictor of program efficiency, and that (2) program efficiency is eroded by selection bias (people who already meet conditions self-select into the programs at higher rates than others). We then discuss possibilities for increasing efficiency and criteria for evaluating and choosing between CCTs/PES or other policy instruments.

developing countries

payments for environmental services

program evaluation


conditional cash transfer



Martin Persson

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Francisco Alpizar

Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza

World Development

0305-750X (ISSN) 18735991 (eISSN)

Vol. 43 124-137

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

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