INVALUABLE [Market-based instruments]


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  • Market-based instruments (MBIs) have gained enormous visibility over the last decades and represent a massive trend in environmental management
  • This trend often does not rely on sound and empirical evidence that MBIs could achieve better results than other approaches
  • The understanding of MBIs lags far behind their visibility and promotion, inter alia because of the substantial ideological biases they carry
  • We use as a departing point the range of instruments that are classified by at least some authors as MBIs
  • While acknowledging the lack of relevance of gathering under a same vague label a number of heterogeneous instruments, we adopt this methodological approach in order to avoid prejudgments and in order to establish sound categories according to our own theoretical and empirical researches


  • Clarify the nature and meaning of the heterogeneous group of MBIs (including Payments for Environmental Services as a broad category)
  • Inform stakeholders, including decision makers, about the relevance (or conversely) of using MBIs with associated strengths and weaknesses
  • Provide an analysis of the emergence of MBIs in societal discourses in relation with their theoretical foundations
  • Research the impacts of their implementation on agents’ motivations, institutional arrangements, environmental efficiency, social equity, legitimacy, reinforcement of environmental public policies
  • Investigate the use of scientific information (e.g. economic valuations) for decision making and especially through existing Science- Policy Interface bodies
  • Study the role of legal / institutional frameworks in improving the use of scientific information and other types of knowledge for MBIs.