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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 409; doi:10.3390/su9030409

A Top-Down Approach to Estimating Spatially Heterogeneous Impacts of Development Aid on Vegetative Carbon Sequestration

1
Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23188, USA
2
Independent Evaluation Group, The World Bank, Washington, DC 20433, USA
3
Center for Conservation Science, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Lydney, South-west GL154JA, UK
4
Global Land Cover Facility, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
5
Department of Biology, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 31 October 2016 / Revised: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 February 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [539 KB, uploaded 9 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Since 1945, over $4.9 trillion dollars of international aid has been allocated to developing countries. To date, there have been no estimates of the regional impact of this aid on the carbon cycle. We apply a geographically explicit matching method to estimate the relative impact of large-scale World Bank projects implemented between 2000 and 2010 on sequestered carbon, using a novel and publicly available data set of 61,243 World Bank project locations. Considering only carbon sequestered due to fluctuations in vegetative biomass caused by World Bank projects, we illustrate the relative impact of World Bank projects on carbon sequestration. We use this information to illustrate the geographic variation in the apparent effectiveness of environmental safeguards implemented by the World Bank. We argue that sub-national data can help to identify geographically heterogeneous impact effects, and highlight many remaining methodological challenges. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon sequestration; causal identification; heterogeneous effects; human-environment interactions; international aid carbon sequestration; causal identification; heterogeneous effects; human-environment interactions; international aid
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Link: http://labs.aiddata.org/wbvfm/
    Description: Interactive map of estimated impacts of World Bank projects on carbon sequestration.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Runfola, D.; BenYishay, A.; Tanner, J.; Buchanan, G.; Nagol, J.; Leu, M.; Goodman, S.; Trichler, R.; Marty, R. A Top-Down Approach to Estimating Spatially Heterogeneous Impacts of Development Aid on Vegetative Carbon Sequestration. Sustainability 2017, 9, 409.

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