Institute of

International Forestry and Forest Economics


Anna Frerck
Institute of International Forestry and Forest Economics

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21031 Hamburg-Bergedorf
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Article on adoption contexts of payments for watershed services


Payments for watershed services (PWS) are increasingly popular tool, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. However, the degree of PWS adoption varies across countries: while frequently adopted in Latin America, water-related payment schemes do not exist in large parts of Africa and Asia.

(© Matthias Bösch)

The causes for these differences have so far been little discussed in the literature. Our investigation closes this knowledge gap with a quantitative cross-national assessment of factors that influence the decision to adopt PWS schemes across tropical countries. With the help of a logistic regression model, we show that especially factors associated with a country’s topography, hydrology, demographics and institutions significantly influence the probability of PWS adoption. Our analysis also has repercussion for where investments in PWS would most likely pay off.

  • Bösch M, Elsasser P, Wunder S (2019) Why do payments for watershed services emerge? A cross-country analysis of adoption contexts. World Dev 119:111-119. DOI:10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.03.010