Willingness to pay for invasive seaweed management: Understanding how high and low income households differ in Ghana

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Department of Social Sciences


Seaweed invasions have been plaguing coastal ecosystems in countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean since 2011. To protect their coastal fisheries and tourism, several countries in West Africa have adopted seaweed cleanup policies to periodically remove invasive seaweeds from the beach, but funding remains a challenge. We conducted a contingent valuation study in Ghana to understand the drivers of public support or willingness to pay (WTP) for seaweed cleanup to assist developing countries struggling to fund seaweed cleanup and contribute to the nascent literature on how socio-economic groups systematically value environmental resources differently. Overall, we found that household income, education of household head, years of residence, distance to the beach and attitudes about invasive seaweeds significantly influence WTP for all households. Among these drivers, only education and attitudes impact WTP irrespective of income status. In comparing income groups, we found that distance is only significant for high-income households, while income is also only significant for low-income households. We predicted GH₵59.62 (US$12.42), GH₵26.28 (US$5.48) and GH₵33.43 (US$6.96) as mean monthly WTP for high-income, low-income, and all households, respectively.

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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Publication Title

Ocean and Coastal Management