Joost de Laat

University of Utrecht

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Utrecht

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2016Borrowing Requirements, Credit Access, and Adverse Selection: Evidence from Kenya
with William Jack, Michael Kremer, Tavneet Suri: w22686
Do the stringent formal sector borrowing requirements common in many developing countries restrict credit access, technology adoption, and welfare? When a Kenyan dairy's savings and credit cooperative randomly offered some farmers the opportunity to replace loans with high down payments and stringent guarantor requirements with loans collateralized by the asset itself — a large water tank — loan take-up increased from 2.4% to 41.9%. (In contrast, substituting joint liability requirements for deposit requirements did not affect loan take up.) There were no repossessions among farmers allowed to collateralize 75% of their loans, and there was only a 0.7% repossession rate among those offered 96% asset collateralization. A Karlan-Zinman test based on waiving borrowing requirements ex post fin...
June 2016Cash for Carbon: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Payments for Ecosystem Services to Reduce Deforestation
with Seema Jayachandran, Eric F. Lambin, Charlotte Y. Stanton: w22378
This paper evaluates a Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) program in western Uganda that offered forest-owning households cash payments if they conserved their forest. The program was implemented as a randomized trial in 121 villages, 60 of which received the program for two years. The PES program reduced deforestation and forest degradation: Tree cover, measured using high-resolution satellite imagery, declined by 2% to 5% in treatment villages compared to 7% to 10% in control villages during the study period. We find no evidence of shifting of tree-cutting to nearby land. We then use the estimated effect size and the "social cost of carbon" to value the delayed carbon dioxide emissions, and compare this benefit to the program's cost.

Published: Seema Jayachandran & Joost de Laat & Eric F. Lambin & Charlotte Y. Stanton & Robin Audy & Nancy E. Thomas, 2017. "Cash for carbon: A randomized trial of payments for ecosystem services to reduce deforestation," Science, vol 357(6348), pages 267-273.

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us