Francisco Alpizar

Francisco Alpizar
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Environmental Economics and Natural Resource Group

Professor

About

119
Publications
43,968
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,736
Citations
Introduction
Francisco Alpízar is Professor at Wageningen University, and Chair of the Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group . Francisco's research explores incentive based approaches to improve private and public management of natural resources. He draws on concepts and methodologies from environmental, development and behavioral economics to examine individual decisions and their role in achieving higher social welfare.
Additional affiliations
May 2016 - May 2017
CATIE - Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza
Position
  • Research Director
January 2002 - February 2016
CATIE - Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (119)
Article
Full-text available
The Dominican Republic has a national system of protected areas integrated for 128 conservation units, covering a land area of 1.2 million hectares, representing around one-quarter of the country's surface. This study aims to understand the willingness to pay (WTP) of the Dominican society for a Special Ecosystem Conservation and Restoration Progra...
Article
This study uses a large field experiment linked to actual behavior to evaluate the effects of an information campaign with and without celebrity endorsement on the use of single-use plastics. We find that demand for single use plastics, particularly for plastic straws and spoons, is very responsive to information when — and only when — it is couple...
Article
Humans make intertemporal decisions under uncertainty as individuals and in groups. Time and risk preferences are well studied in the context of individual decision-making, but much less attention has been paid to contexts of group decision-making, particularly married adults. Married couples often make important decisions jointly, such as decision...
Article
Full-text available
This paper assesses the Dominican Republic’s willingness to pay (WTP) for a conservation, restoration, and sustainable development program for the Bahoruco-Jaragua-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve (RBJBE). Created in 2002, the RBJBE covers approximately 4858 km2, of which approximately 900 km2 correspond to the sea surface. With three core conservation...
Article
Full-text available
We study the implementation of a time-varying pricing (TVP) program by a major electricity utility in Costa Rica. Because of particular features of the data, we use recently developed understanding of the two-way fixed effects differences-in-differences estimator along with event-study specifications to interpret our results. Similar to previous re...
Article
Full-text available
Pervasive overuse and degradation of common pool resources (CPRs) is a global concern. To sustainably manage CPRs, effective governance institutions are essential. A large literature has developed to describe the institutional design features employed by communities that successfully manage their CPRs. Yet, these designs remain far from universally...
Article
Full-text available
Water scarcity is a global problem that can be compounded by inefficient water management, including underinvestment in infrastructure, underpricing of water use, and underenforcement of user rules. Here, we explore whether these inefficiencies can be reduced in rural Costa Rica via an externally driven community monitoring program (i.e., a program...
Article
Full-text available
The destruction of the Amazon is a major global environmental issue, not only because of greenhouse gas emissions or direct impacts on biodiversity and livelihoods, but also due to the forest's role as a tipping element in the Earth System. With nearly a fifth of the Amazon already lost, there are already signs of an imminent forest dieback process...
Chapter
Full-text available
Although there is growing recognition that extreme weather events pose significant challenges to Central American agriculture, little is known about what factors influence farmers’ implementation of adaptation practices. Such information is critical for the formulation of climate change policies. To fill this knowledge gap, we surveyed 446 maize an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
ABSTRACT The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region enjoys an exuberant natural wealth; with 16 percent of the planet’s land, the region is home to 40 percent of the world’s biological diversity. This report investigates and provides a good overview of the region’s efforts to mainstream natural capital and biodiversity concerns into public polic...
Book
Full-text available
The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region enjoys an exuberant natural wealth; with 16 percent of the planets land, the region is home to 40 percent of the worlds biological diversity. This report investigates and provides a good overview of the regions efforts to mainstream natural capital and biodiversity concerns into public policy. It also p...
Article
Full-text available
This paper shows the results of a contingent valuation exercise carried out to assess the environmental impacts caused by the disposal of 56,000 tons of rock ash in the Dominican Republic in 2003 and 2004. In March 2007, the Dominican government and AES Corporation reached a legal settlement for US$6 million in penalties to avoid a lengthy legal pr...
Article
Full-text available
The polluting of marine ecosystems with plastics is both a global and a local problem with potentially severe consequences for wildlife, economic activity, and human health. It is a problem that originates in countries’ inability to adequately manage the growing flow of waste. We use an impact pathway framework to trace the flow of plastics through...
Article
This paper assesses the willingness to pay (WTP) of the Dominican Republican society for a restoration and conservation program in Loma Miranda, an area rich in natural resources that is also proposed as a mining exploitation site. Loma Miranda is located in the Quisqueya mining concession, approximately 100 km from the country's capital, Santo Dom...
Preprint
We study the implementation of a time-varying pricing (TVP) program by a major electric utility in Costa Rica. Similar to previous research, we find that the program reduces consumption during peak-hours. However, in contrast with previous research, we find that the program increases total consumption. To explain the differences between our results...
Article
For decades, government agencies and nongovernmental organizations have invested in programs aimed at alleviating poverty and those aimed at protecting the environment. Whether these investments mutually reinforce each other or act in opposition has been widely debated by scholars. Studies that have tried to resolve this debate suffer from a variet...
Article
Full-text available
To ensure food security among rural communities under a changing climate, policymakers need information on the prevalence and determinants of food insecurity, the role of extreme weather events in exacerbating food insecurity, and the strategies that farmers use to cope with food insecurity. Using household surveys in Guatemala and Honduras, we exp...
Article
Full-text available
The phenomenon of collective action and the origin of collective action problems have been extensively and systematically studied in the social sciences. Yet, while we have substantial knowledge about the factors promoting collective action at the local level, we know far less about how these insights travel to large-scale collective action problem...
Article
This paper examines the effect of farmers’ liability on demand for credit with and without insurance. We test predictions of a theoretical model in a lab in the field experiment with coffee farmers in Costa Rica. Farmers choose how much to invest in six different settings, described on the one hand by whether the loan is insured or not, and on the...
Article
Full-text available
We take stock of the lessons learned from using market-based instruments in chemicals management and discuss the potential for increased use of risk-based taxation in the management of pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. Many chemical substances cause significant diffuse emissions when emitted over wide areas at individually low concentration...
Article
Full-text available
Encouraging adaptation to climate change is fundamentally about encouraging changes in human behaviour. To promote these changes, governments, non-profits and multilateral institutions have invested in a range of adaptation projects. Yet there is little empirical evidence about which project components are effective in changing human behaviour1,2....
Article
Full-text available
Introduction. The productivity of certain crops such as coffee (Coffea arabica L.), maize (Zea mays) and beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is expected to decline in Central America because of climate change. This will impact regional economies and livelihoods of smallholder farmers relying on these crops for their food security and livelihoods. There i...
Article
Full-text available
Introducción. El cambio climático afectará la distribución, productividad y rentabilidad del cultivo de café en América Central, perjudicando las economías nacionales y los medios de vida de los pequeños productores. Es necesario entender cómo el cambio climático está afectando a los pequeños caficultores en la región para promover medidas que perm...
Article
Introduction. Agricultural practices based on good management of ecosystems are promoted as a good adaptation strategy for the productive activities of coffee smallholder farmers in the Central American region. The dissemination of information on innovations, techniques, instruments, etc. between organizations and producers is key to expand and con...
Data
The data archived here were collected as part of a household survey of smallholder coffee and basic farmers’ perceptions and adaptations to climate change. The data includes information from 860 smallholder coffee and maize/bean farmers in Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica. The main objective of the household survey was to explore how smallholder...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Fiscal incentives are governmental policies that change the relative price of a given activity or input, either encouraging or discouraging its use. They can be created through the removal of existing price distortions that generate perverse incentives for overuse, or through the implementation of new market-based instruments such as taxes, charges...
Article
Full-text available
Today, more than ever, ‘Spaceship Earth’ is an apt metaphor as we chart the boundaries for a safe planet¹. Social scientists both analyse why society courts disaster by approaching or even overstepping these boundaries and try to design suitable policies to avoid these perils. Because the threats of transgressing planetary boundaries are global, lo...
Article
Agricultural practices based on good management of the ecosystems are promoted as a good adaptation strategy for the productive activities of small coffee farmers in the Central American region. The dissemination of information on innovations, techniques, instruments, etc. (e.g. from studies or the experience of the producers themselves) between or...
Article
Full-text available
Background Smallholder farmers are one of the most vulnerable groups to climate change, yet efforts to support farmer adaptation are hindered by the lack of information on how they are experiencing and responding to climate change. More information is needed on how different types of smallholder farmers vary in their perceptions and responses to cl...
Technical Report
Full-text available
En Centroamérica, el sector agrícola es indispensable para el desarrollo económico, el alivio de la pobreza y la preservación de la identidad cultural. Gran parte de la producción agrícola regional procede de pequeños productores. La agricultura de pequeña escala proporciona medios de vida a más de 2.4 millones de familias, representa cerca del 50%...
Article
Successfully implemented payment for ecosystem services (PES) programs can provide both conservation of nature and financial support to rural communities. In this paper, we explore how PES programs can be designed so as to maximize the amount of additional ecosystem services provided for a given budget. We also provide a brief summary of the use of...
Article
Little is known about the cost of environmental regulations that target households instead of firms, partly because of significant methodological and data challenges. We use the contingent valuation method to measure the costs of Mexico City’s Day without Driving program, which seeks to stem pollution and traffic congestion by prohibiting vehicles...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines how basic socioeconomic and political factors are associated with higher levels of cooperation to garner a local community’s shared green reputation. We analyze panel data on participation efforts in a collective voluntary environmental program, the Ecological Blue Flag Program, by the entire population of beach communities in C...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Este reporte presenta una reseña del panorama ambiental de Costa Rica. En él se detallan los principales desafíos del país para lograr un crecimiento inclusivo, resiliente y sostenible, incluyendo el reto de cumplir con los compromisos climáticos adquiridos en los Acuerdos de París. Finalmente, se plantean alternativas estratégicas que harían viabl...
Conference Paper
CIRAD, CATIE, PROMECAFE, CABI, BIOVERSITY Intl, ICRAF e INCAE crearon en 2007 el PCP. El fin del PCP es unir esfuerzos en la búsqueda de recursos para: desarrollar investigaciones y enseñanza (pre y posgrado) sobre agroforestería, incrementar la capacidad de cada institución para desarrollar proyectos agroforestales, y favorecer la comunicación ent...
Article
Full-text available
When designing schemes such as conditional cash transfers or payments for ecosystem services, the choice of whom to select and whom to exclude is critical. We incentivize and measure actual contributions to an environmental public good to ascertain whether being excluded from a rebate can affect contributions and, if so, whether the rationale for e...
Article
Full-text available
Los programas de transferencias condicionadas (PTC ) para promover objetivos de salud y educación, así como los pagos por servicios ecosistémicos (PSE) en el caso de los objetivos ambientales, son dos instrumentos importantes de política pública. Ambos buscan alinear los intereses de la sociedad como un todo con los intereses de los individuos, fam...
Technical Report
Full-text available
El cambio climático es una alteración de las condiciones ambientales y en especial del sistema climático que se da a nivel global y cuyos efectos ya están afectando a todos los sistemas y comunidades. Por esto, es muy importante comprender sus causas, impactos potenciales y los cambios esperados en el futuro, además de cómo hacer frente a sus conse...
Technical Report
Full-text available
El bienestar y los medios de vida de los seres humanos dependen de los ecosistemas del planeta, tanto de aquellos naturales como de los manejados por el ser humano. Entender el intricado funcionamiento de los ecosistemas, agroecosistemas y de los servicios que nos brindan es necesario para promover un manejo sostenible que favorezca tanto la produc...
Technical Report
Full-text available
El cambio climático inequívocamente está ocasionando una serie de cambios a nivel global, regional y local, esto tendrá impactos importantes en la agricultura, que es uno de los sectores más sensibles a las condiciones del clima. En el presente módulo estudiaremos los impactos actuales y futuros del cambio climático sobre la agricultura centroameri...
Technical Report
Full-text available
El cambio climático está afectando a las comunidades y familias rurales, sus agroecosistemas y su producción agrícola. La adopción de prácticas de adaptación por parte de los pequeños productores en sus fincas, propiciará su ajuste ante estos cambios del clima y les ayudará a estar preparados ante sus efectos negativos. En este panorama, una opción...
Article
A growing set of policies involve transfers conditioned upon socially desired actions, such as attending school or conserving forest. However, given a desire to maximize the impact of limited funds by avoiding transfers that do not change behavior, typically some potential recipients are excluded on the basis of their characteristics, their actions...
Technical Report
Full-text available
America. The policy review addresses the issue of sustainable energy from two different perspectives. One approach considers energy in its broad spectrum and as a national sector of relevance, while the other one focuses on the relevance of implementing sustainable energies under a climate change context (EEfD 2016) 1. Despite the difficulty of sep...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report provides findings based on the Costa Rican experiences that are beneficial for countries around the world implementing Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes. In this report, it is noted that from 2000 to 2010, over 5 million hectares of forest were lost per year globally, with the agricultural sector contributing to an estimated...
Chapter
In this chapter we discuss field experiments in the context of development economics. Given that field experiments are addressed in this chapter for the first time in the book, we start by defining them. Experimental economics was born fundamentally out of laboratory experiments, so it is natural to build our definition based on the existing differ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In many lower-income countries, the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) involves significant opportunity costs for artisanal fishers, reflected in changes in how they allocate their labor in response to the MPA. The resource economics literature rarely addresses such labor allocation decisions of artisanal fishers and how, in turn, these...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Climate Smart (CS) agriculture in a territorial approach is defined by various actors as a combination of mitigation, adaptation and food security. However, current techniques fall short in capturing information of institutional ability of transformation, productive transformation dynamics and social development capacity. A territorial approach int...
Article
Little is known about the cost of environmental regulations such as residential zoning restrictions and recycling mandates that target households instead of firms, partly because of significant methodological and data challenges. We use a survey-based approach, the contingent valuation method, to measure the costs of Mexico City’s Day Without Drivi...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews the history of the Environment for Development (EfD) initiative, its activities in capacity building and policy-oriented research, and case studies at its centres in Chile, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. EfD promotes research-based policies to manage natural resources as engines of development. S...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we investigate how different levels of entrance fees affect donations for a public good, a natural park. To explore this issue, we conducted a stated preference study focusing on visitors' preferences for donating money to raise funds for a protected area in Costa Rica given different entrance fee levels. The results reveal that ther...
Article
Full-text available
At the end of my undergraduate studies in economics I was ready to go into graduate studies in finance, monetary policy or macroeconomics. At that time in my country, the choices were not much broader than that. In order to complete my studies I needed 30 days of community work, so I went to Ostional National Wildlife Refuge (ONWR), one of a few pl...
Article
Full-text available
We estimate local effects of Payment for Environmental Services (PES) programs on poverty in Costa Rica between 2007 and 2009. Using household surveys and spatial geographic data, we are able to control for socioeconomic and geographic characteristics at the individual and census tract level. We find that the effects are insignificant at a national...
Article
Full-text available
(Forthcoming at World Development) Tourism associated with beaches, protected areas, and other natural resources often has serious environmental impacts. The problem is especially acute in developing countries, where nature-based tourism is increasingly important and environmental regulation is typically weak. Eco-certification programs — voluntary...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses the underlying factors affecting people’s satisfaction with drinking water provided by community-based organizations in rural Costa Rica. These organizations provide water to more than 60% of the country’s rural population, but there is great disparity in the quality of water provided. Using a Generalized Ordered Logit regressio...
Poster
Full-text available
We conducted an extensive literature survey on management practices with potential for adaptation to climate change for smallholder coffee and maize/bean farmers. We reviewed a total of 217 documents (of 461 found). The reviewed documents corresponded to the 43% (69) and 56% (148) of the total publications available for coffee and basic grains, res...
Article
We investigate whether people's donations in the field are affected by the presence of others. In the analysis, we distinguish between individuals who arrived at a national park alone and those who arrived as members of a group. We also investigated the effect of donations being made in the presence of a third party made in the presence of a third...
Article
An increasing number of policies condition transfers upon the taking of socially desired actions − such as donating blood, departing conflict or mitigating climate change. Many such incentives are targeted, i.e., they exclude individuals based on potential recipients' characteristics or actions. We hypothesize that: pro-sociality can be reduced by...