Charles Palmer

Charles Palmer is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Development Research (ZEF) in Bonn, working on a project on Payments for Environmental Services (PES) schemes in Central America. His PhD in agricultural economics at the University of Bonn focused on the negotiations for logging agreements in Indonesia, in which he investigated the trade-offs made by local people between logging damages and financial benefits. He trained as an environmental and resource economist at University College London and specialises in environment and international development related issues. His interests include natural resource management, property rights, decentralization, governance and rural development. In the past, he has worked on projects on behalf of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He currently resides in New York City.

Papers Published in World Economics:

The Nature of Corruption in Forest Management

Corruption is a well-documented and common feature of natural resource management in the developing world. This article investigates the nature of corruption and whether or not there is such a thing as a ‘tolerable’ level of corruption, particularly where there is an established culture of patronage. Using the log trade in Indonesia as a study in rent-seeking transactions, this article shows that a failure to account for the incentives underlying rent-seeking undermines forest policy. Also, attempts to eliminate corruption are doomed to failure. Instead, policymakers should seek to understand the nature of corruption in seeking to move from rent creation to wealth creation.

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