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Motivation crowding by economic incentives in conservation policy: A review of the empirical evidence

Rode, Julian; Gomez-Baggethun, Erik and Krause, Torsten LU (2015) In Ecological Economics 117. p.270-282
Abstract
The paper seeks to advance our understanding of the extent to which the use of economic incentives can undermine ("crowd out") or reinforce ("crowd in") people's intrinsic motivations to engage in biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. We first synthesize and classify the psychological mechanisms behind motivation crowding effects. Then we conduct a systematic review of empirical studies that test for motivation crowding effects triggered by economic incentives to encourage nature conservation. Based on eighteen empirical studies, we identify evidence of motivation crowding out and, to a lesser extent, crowding in effects. Finally, we discuss the implications for environmental policy and research. We note that the limited comparability... (More)
The paper seeks to advance our understanding of the extent to which the use of economic incentives can undermine ("crowd out") or reinforce ("crowd in") people's intrinsic motivations to engage in biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. We first synthesize and classify the psychological mechanisms behind motivation crowding effects. Then we conduct a systematic review of empirical studies that test for motivation crowding effects triggered by economic incentives to encourage nature conservation. Based on eighteen empirical studies, we identify evidence of motivation crowding out and, to a lesser extent, crowding in effects. Finally, we discuss the implications for environmental policy and research. We note that the limited comparability of results across studies, the lack of baseline information about pre-existing intrinsic motivations, and a complexity stemming from cultural and contextual heterogeneity appear to be the main challenges when it comes to establishing more conclusive evidence. We conclude that, as economic instruments for conservation are increasingly being used worldwide, it is crucial to assess existing intrinsic motivations and expected changes in people's motivational structures prior to large-scale implementation. We call for caution with economic incentives in situations involving considerable uncertainty regarding the detrimental impacts on intrinsic motivation. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Conservation, Payments for ecosystem services, Policy instruments, Economic incentives, Motivation crowding
in
Ecological Economics
volume
117
pages
270 - 282
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000360512800031
  • scopus:84938973753
ISSN
0921-8009
DOI
10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.11.019
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
478d668c-8974-421b-9891-b0eb50afd761 (old id 8077569)
date added to LUP
2015-10-26 14:18:38
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:53:52
@article{478d668c-8974-421b-9891-b0eb50afd761,
  abstract     = {The paper seeks to advance our understanding of the extent to which the use of economic incentives can undermine ("crowd out") or reinforce ("crowd in") people's intrinsic motivations to engage in biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. We first synthesize and classify the psychological mechanisms behind motivation crowding effects. Then we conduct a systematic review of empirical studies that test for motivation crowding effects triggered by economic incentives to encourage nature conservation. Based on eighteen empirical studies, we identify evidence of motivation crowding out and, to a lesser extent, crowding in effects. Finally, we discuss the implications for environmental policy and research. We note that the limited comparability of results across studies, the lack of baseline information about pre-existing intrinsic motivations, and a complexity stemming from cultural and contextual heterogeneity appear to be the main challenges when it comes to establishing more conclusive evidence. We conclude that, as economic instruments for conservation are increasingly being used worldwide, it is crucial to assess existing intrinsic motivations and expected changes in people's motivational structures prior to large-scale implementation. We call for caution with economic incentives in situations involving considerable uncertainty regarding the detrimental impacts on intrinsic motivation. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Rode, Julian and Gomez-Baggethun, Erik and Krause, Torsten},
  issn         = {0921-8009},
  keyword      = {Conservation,Payments for ecosystem services,Policy instruments,Economic incentives,Motivation crowding},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {270--282},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Ecological Economics},
  title        = {Motivation crowding by economic incentives in conservation policy: A review of the empirical evidence},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.11.019},
  volume       = {117},
  year         = {2015},
}