The Poyang Lake wetland has been at the center of discussion in China’s wetland restoration initiative because of the extent of its ecosystem degradation. The purpose of this paper is to model farmers’ willingness to participate in wetland restoration and analyze factors that will affect farmers’ participation decisions. A household survey was conducted among 300 randomly selected farm-households in the Poyang Lake area, Jiangxi Province. A binary probit regression model is applied to investigate the impacts of farmer demographics, farm characteristics, and farmers’ perceptions of wetland and wetland restoration policies on willingness to participate in wetland restoration. Results show that farmers’ education level, household migrant members, number of dependents, household net income, farm type, and distance to urban areas have significant effects on farmers’ participation in wetland restoration. Farmers’ perceptions about the ecological values and benefits of wetlands and their knowledge about wetland restoration policies do not appear to significantly influence farmers’ willingness to participate. A gap is identified between awareness of the importance of wetland restoration and willingness to take actions to restore wetlands. Farm-households tend to weigh personal needs and economic conditions when making participation decisions.
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