Nonmarket valuation in developing countries: incorporating labour contributions in environmental benefits estimates.
There are limitations associated with the application of nonmarket valuation techniques, including choice experiments, in subsistence economies. In part, this is due to the concern that using money as a mode of contribution may not capture the potential contribution of low-income households. To address this limitation, respondents in this study were provided with the option of contributing towards the management of invasive plants in labour terms if they were unwilling to contribute in monetary terms. The results show that the existing practice of using dollar values to estimate willingness to contribute may disproportionately exclude the concerns of some groups within the community. The analysis also indicates that allowing respondents to express their willingness to contribute in labour increases their participation in environmental decision-making processes and hence increases the estimated value of forest ecosystem services. This study contributes to the limited empirical literature on the development of nonmarket valuation surveys, particularly choice experiments, in low-income countries in general and rural areas in particular.