Ben Balmford

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

Project Summary

Ben's primary research focus is on the development of Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) schemes which better align the incentives of the funding body (Principal) and the group tasked with delivery (Agents). He does so with a clear focus on policy and real-world impact, which is explained here.

Within this broader research agenda, Ben has explored the efficiency gains offered by elective individual-level monitoring through the application of Principal-Agent theory and lab experiments. He has also worked extensively on the potential for reverse auctions within PES schemes as a mechanism of price discovery. Currently, he is researching how best to design markets for the simultaneous exchange of multiple ecosystem services between (potentially) many buyers and sellers.

Alongside this primary research agenda, Ben is beginning to explore which aspects of biodiversity people value, and how this could be best captured within biodiversity net gain legislation. Similarly, he is starting to explore the drivers of forest regrowth on previously cleared lands.

Supervisory Team

Ben was supervised by Brett Day, Ian Bateman, Amy Binner and Greg Smith for his PhD.

Wider Research Interests

Mechanism design, ecosystem services, biodiversity's value, environmental policy.

Authored Publications/Reports

B. Balmford, J.D. Annan, J.C. Hargreaves, M. AltoƩ, I.J. Bateman (2020) Cross-Country Comparisons of Covid-19: Policy, Politics and the Price of Life, Environmental and Resource Economics

A. Balmford, B. Fisher, G.M. Mace, D.S. Wilcove, B. Balmford (2020) COVID-19: Analogues and lessons for tackling the extinction and climate crises, Current Biology

B. Balmford, I.J. Bateman, K. Bolt, B.H. Day, S. Ferrini (2019) The Value of Statistical Life for Adults and Children: Comparisons of the contingent valuation and chained approaches, Resource and Energy Economics

B. Balmford, R.E. Green, M. Onial, B. Phalan, A. Balmford (2019) How imperfect can land sparing be before land sharing is more favourable for wild species?, Journal of Applied Ecology

I.J. Bateman, B. Balmford (2018) Public funding for public goods: A post-Brexit perspective on principles for agricultural policy, Land Use Policy

B. Balmford, J. Balmford, A. Balmford, S. Blakeman, A. Manica, R.M. Cowling (2006) Diurnal versus nocturnal pollination of Brunsvigia gregaria R.A. Dyer (Amaryllidaceae) at a coastal site, South African Journal of Botany