ABSTRACT

The shift toward empiricism in economics has been associated with the applications of impact evaluation methods in measuring the effects of policy programs or projects. Forest economists have been actively advancing their research agendas by taking advantage of this major trend. The objective of this chapter is to synthesize and critique those recent, prominent studies of the impacts of initiatives that reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and/or enhance carbon removals through forest expansion and management. Following an introduction to core concepts, methods, and sampling strategies, it summarizes the case studies from Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia to show the broad applicability of impact evaluations and the variability of results they have generated. Then, it elaborates on how forest economists can improve the relevance and quality of their future work, especially how they should contextualize their studies adequately by considering the provisions of the Paris Agreement and the underlying jurisdictional circumstances.