November 23th, Anca Voia's PhD Defense

November 23, 2021 Research

Anca VOIA will defend her thesis on Tuesday 23 november 2021 at 4:00 PM (Zoom)
Please contact Elvire JALRAN to attend the meeting.

Title: Cost-Effectiveness and Optimal Design of Payments for Ecosystem Services

Supervisor: Céline Nauges
Co-Supervisor: Sylvain Chabé-Ferret

Memberships are:

  • Jennifer Alix-Garcia, Professor, Oregon State University
  • Paul Ferraro, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Johns Hopkins University
  • François Salanié, Director of Research INRAE, Toulouse School of Economics 
  • Jean-Christophe Bureau, Professor, AgroParisTech
  • Vincent Marcus, Deputy Director, Ministère de la Transition Écologique et Solidaire
  • Julie Subervie, Director of Research, CEE-Montpellier & INRAE
  • Anouch Missirian, Assistant Professor, Toulouse School of Economics – UT1 Capitole
  • Céline Nauges, Director of Research INRAE, Toulouse School of Economics



My PhD thesis is mainly focused on the evaluation of payments for ecosystem services programs and more specifically on answering the question whether grassland and forest conservation programs are effective tools for climate change mitigation. In the first chapter, I used the difference-in-differences program evaluation technique to assess the cost-effectiveness of the French Grassland Conservation Program by exploiting the 2003 expansion as a natural experiment. The results suggest that this program expansion led to a small increase in grassland area, mainly at the expense of croplands, which results in an increase in carbon storage in the soil. In the second chapter, using meta-analysis tools, I estimated the benefit-cost ratio of forest conservation programs implemented in developing countries. The estimations show that this ratio is lower than one (<1) and that publication bias is present in this literature. Finally, in the last chapter, I used a principal-agent model to provide insights on the optimality of different subsidy designs (linear-uniform, nonlinear and spatially targeted payments). I applied this model to the French Grassland Conservation Program, and I found that linear-uniform contracts have a better complexity-efficiency ratio than the other options. Yet, the results of my thesis suggest that grassland and forest conservation programs are not effective tools for climate change mitigation at current carbon prices, despite the good choice of contract design.