CBEAR Grants Program Recipients 2016

8:53 a.m., Feb. 4, 2016–CBEAR – the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research, which is operated jointly by the University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University – is awarding more than $300,000 to 12 behavioral science projects that will examine the performance of various public policy approaches to agricultural-environmental problems.

The center completed its request-for-proposals process in September 2015. The selected projects aim to explain the complex human responses to agri-environmental policies implemented by government, with the goal of helping to design better public programs.

Kent Messer, co-director of CBEAR and the Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment at the University of Delaware, said, “In these outstanding proposals, the overriding question asked, and answered, is ‘What works?’ For example, does an existing subsidy for conservation of land actually result in a larger amount of land being preserved? If not, why not? What kind of incentive might work better?”

Paul Ferraro, co-director of CBEAR and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School and Whiting School of Engineering, added, “The results of these funded research projects will be available within two years and can directly affect how agri-environmental programs are designed in the U.S. and globally.”

Many of the nation’s most pressing problems — climate change, droughts, floods, fires, polluted air and water, endangered species, shrinking agricultural and natural lands — have direct links to the intersection of agriculture and the environment.

The way governments tackle these problems is changing. In 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (Memo M-13-17) called for evidence-based policy design that relies on behavioral science and experimental techniques. Last September, an Executive Order by President Barack Obama noted that “a growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights — research findings from fields such as behavioral economics… — can be used to design government policies to better serve the American people.”

CBEAR is leading efforts to use this new approach to solve the nation’s agricultural and environmental challenges. Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, CBEAR supports science-based research nationwide and translates these results into useful guidance for administrators and policymakers to craft more effective programs.

To enrich the studies, the researchers are working with collaborators that include farming groups, local water conservation districts, nonprofit environmental organizations, and agencies such as the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Ferraro said, “CBEAR is excited to work with this talented group of researchers and their partners from across the country to address important agricultural and environmental problems using the best of the behavioral sciences and rigorous experimental designs.”

A full list of funded grants is below.


All Uncertainties are not Created Equal: Different Policy Prescriptions for Risk and Ambiguity in Tipping Point CPR
Dr. Angela C.M. de Oliveira, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Abdul Kidwai, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Complementarities in Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Nepal
Dr. Paul Christian, Cornell University
Dr. Teevrat Garg, University of California – San Diego
Encouraging Private Support for Ecosystem Services Provided by Farmland Using the Assurance Contract: Lab Experiment Studies to Complement Field Results
Pengfei Liu, University of Connecticut
Dr. Stephen Swallow, University of Connecticut
Endogenous Land Values, Agglomeration Bonuses, and Conservation Holdouts: Experimental Evidence
Dr. Jason Shogren, University of Wyoming
Dr. Gregory Parkhurst, Weber State University
Cristian Rojas, University of Wyoming
Yasha Feferholtz, University of Wyoming
Evaluating the Impact of Economic Research Results on Attitudes Related to Groundwater Management Policies: A Randomized Control Trial
Dr. Jordan Suter, Colorado State University
Dr. Dale Manning, Colorado State University
Dr. Chris Goemans, Colorado State University
Aaron Hrozencik, Colorado State University
Investigating Potential Impacts of Non-attainment Risk Mitigation on Conservation Exchange Outcomes
Dr. Kristiana Hansen, University of Wyoming
Dr. Chian Jones Ritten, University of Wyoming
Dr. Christopher Bastian, University of Wyoming
Amy Nagler, University of Wyoming
Measuring Farmer Participation & Compliance: Agri-Environmental Regulation in Michigan
Stephen Morgan, Michigan State University
Dr. Nicole Mason, Michigan State University
Nudging for empathy conservation: A field experiment on the USDA Conservation Stewardship Program
Dr. Simanti Banerjee, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Dr. Mark Burbach, University of Nebraska Lincoln
Dr. Natalia Czap, University of Michigan Dearborn
Dr. Hans Czap, University of Michigan Dearborn
Policy Instruments, Strategic Interactions, and Incentives for Habitat Conservation for Imperiled Species
Dr. Richard Melstrom, Oklahoma State University
Dr. Leah Palm-Forster, University of Delaware
Dr. Carson Reeling, Western Michigan University
Reforming Electricity Subsidies for Groundwater Extraction: A Field Study in Mexico
Dr. Ariel Dinar, University of California Riverside
Dr. Amnon Rapoport, University of California Riverside
Edgar Tellez Foster, University of California Riverside
Reuniting and Adapting to Fragmented Habitat for Red Wolf Recovery
Dr. Jacob Hochard, East Carolina University
Dr. Yuanhao Li, Norwegian School of Economics
Understanding Incentives for Farmers’ Behavior in a Reverse Procurement Auction with Screening Criteria: Application to Grassland Bird Conservation in Environmental Markets
Dr. Stephen Swallow, University of Connecticut
Anwesha Chakrabarti, University of Connecticut

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