Ben Balmford

Department: Economics
Discipline: Economics
Research Centre/Unit: Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute

Project Summary

Research title 'Improving Payment for Ecosystem Service scheme design'

Ben's research will focus on the development of Payment for Ecosystem Service schemes which better align the incentives of the funding body (Principal) and the group tasked with delivery (Agents). This will use Principal-Agent theory to understand how to get around the problem of moral hazard in groups, with a particular focus on how co-design may help to achieve this outcome. Attention will be given to the role of self-policing and uncertainty (and therefore also insurance) in achieving optimal outcomes, as well as understanding how repeated interactions changes optimal behaviour. The work will rely on insights from Game Theory, and possibly simulations. We will then use lab experiments mimicking real-world settings to explore improvements in the design of such schemes, and hope to be able to gather evidence on the effectiveness of schemes rolled-out in the real world.

Supervisory Team

Professor Brett Day, Professor Ian Bateman, Dr Amy Binner, Dr Greg Smith

Wider Research Interests

Ecosystem services, ecosystem service valuation, environmental policy, conservation, agricultural policy.