NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Forest Protection: The Transaction Costs of REDD

Lee J. Alston, Krister Andersson

NBER Working Paper No. 16756
Issued in February 2011
NBER Program(s):   EEE   LE   PE   POL

Understanding and minimizing the transaction costs of policy implementation are critical for reducing tropical forest losses. As the international community prepares to launch REDD+, a global initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from tropical deforestation, policymakers need to pay attention to the transactions costs associated with negotiating, monitoring and enforcing contracts between governments and donors. The existing institutional design for REDD+ relies heavily on central government interventions in program countries. Analyzing new data on forest conservation outcomes, we identify several problems with this centralized approach to forest protection. We describe options for a more diversified policy approach that could reduce the full set of transaction costs and thereby improve the efficiency of the market-based approach for conservation.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16756

Published: Alston, Lee J., and Krister Ander sson, “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Forest Protection: The Transaction Costs of Implementing REDD,” Climate Law 3 (2011): 1‐9. Earlier version published as NBER Working Paper No. 16

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