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Torsten Krause

Torsten Krause

Senior Lecturer

Torsten Krause

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

Author

  • Julian Rode
  • Erik Gomez-Baggethun
  • Torsten Krause

Summary, in English

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.

Department/s

  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year

2015

Language

English

Pages

270-282

Publication/Series

Ecological Economics

Volume

117

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Elsevier

Topic

  • Environmental Sciences

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Payments for ecosystem services
  • Policy instruments
  • Economic incentives
  • Motivation crowding

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 0921-8009