Effects of information on smallholder irrigation farmers’ willingness to pay for groundwater protection

Mustapha Alhassan, Christopher R. Gustafson, Karina Schoengold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Ghana, groundwater, accessed through wells and boreholes, is generally unregulated and may be contaminated with pollutants including excess nitrates from agricultural chemical fertilizers. Yet, studies estimating how clean groundwater is valued are not available in Ghana. In addition, some research suggests that the pre-experiment information provided to survey respondents affects their valuation of an identical outcome. This paper estimates smallholder farmers’ preferences for groundwater protection using pre-experiment information focused on one of two outcomes: environment or health. The double-bounded contingent valuation (DBCV) approach is used to estimate willingness to pay (WTP) to protect groundwater quality. The estimation accounts for shift and anchoring effects, which are common issues with the DBCV method. The mean WTP from the health (environmental) information subsample is about US$19 (US$17) per acre, and the values are significantly different between the information conditions. The findings shed light on the importance of using precise information in eliciting WTP in a developing country setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalAgricultural Economics (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Ghana
  • double-bounded contingent valuation
  • fertilizer use
  • groundwater quality
  • willingness to pay (WTP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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