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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 377-389

Motivational Crowding in Payments for Ecosystem Service Schemes: a Global Systematic Review

Quest University Canada, British Columbia, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Maï Yasué
Quest University Canada, British Columbia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_18_90

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We contribute to the growing body of literature on the ecological and socio-psychological impacts of providing payments as rewards for conservation. We conducted a systematic review of 74 payments for ecosystem services (PES) schemes and identified contextual factors that correlate with psychological mechanisms that enhance (”crowd-in”) or erode (”crowd-out”) autonomous motivation. Such indicators of crowding-in were more likely when schemes empowered local participants, provided in-kind non-monetary community benefits, and aimed to foster feelings of autonomy. Schemes that thwarted feelings of autonomy correlated with indicators of motivational crowding-out. Although motivational crowding had no effect on ecological success, indicators of crowding-in positively predicted social success (χ2 = 8.60, n = 48, p = 0.003) and crowding-out negatively predicted social success (χ2 = 9.59, n = 47, p = 0.002). Compared to past studies highlighting the negative impacts of extrinsic rewards on autonomous motivation, our study provides a more nuanced perspective and demonstrates that extrinsic incentives such as payments can promote crowding-in of autonomous motivation if schemes are designed equitably and provide opportunities for autonomous decision-making. Our study demonstrates how the application of psychological theories can contribute to the design of fair and effective PES schemes.

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