Environment and Development Economics

Research Article

Economic value of mitigation of plant invaders in a subsistence economy: incorporating labour as a mode of payment

Rajesh Kumar Raia1 and Helen Scarborougha2

a1 School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Deakin University, Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Australia. Tel: +61-421949632. Email: rkrai@deakin.edu.au; rjerung@gmail.com

a2 School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Warranmbool Campus, Deakin University, Australia. Email: helen.scarborough@deakin.edu.au


This paper presents the analysis of a choice experiment designed to estimate willingness-to-pay (WTP) to mitigate damages caused by invasive plant species in a rural community of Nepal. In order to address the cash constraints problem in a subsistence economy, two payment attributes, labour contribution and membership fee, were included in the choice sets. The results reveal that rural farmers have significant WTP for forest management activities, in terms of both cash and labour contributions. The results also suggest that rural farmers value their time in this context at a different rate from the current wage rate.

(Received April 20 2012)

(Revised June 13 2012)

(Accepted August 04 2012)

(Online publication October 11 2012)


  This research was supported by the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), Research Grant No. SANDEE/Dec 2010/001, as a part of the Ph.D. study of the corresponding author entitled ‘Estimating the benefits of managing invasive plants in subsistence communities’ at the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Deakin University, Melbourne. The authors thank Professor Jeffrey R. Vincent of Duke University for his valuable input during the proposal and analysis of this study.