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Heterogeneous returns and the persistence of agricultural technology adoption

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  • Andrew Zeitlin
  • Stefano Caria
  • Richman Dzene
  • Petr Janský
  • Emmanuel Opoku
  • Francis Teal

Abstract

In this paper we explore whether low rates of sustained technology use can be explained by heterogeneity in returns to adoption. To do so we evaluate impacts of the Cocoa Abrabopa Association, which provided a package of fertilizer and other inputs on credit to cocoa farmers in Ghana. High estimated average productive impacts for treated farmers are found to be consistent with negative economic profits for a substantial proportion of the treated population. By constructing an individual specific measure of returns,we demonstrate that low realized returns among adopters are associated with low retention rates, even after conditioning on output levels and successful repayment. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that high average returns mask substantial and persistent heterogeneity, and that farmers experiment in order to learn about their idiosyncratic returns.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2010-37.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-37

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  1. Christine M. Moser & Christopher B. Barrett, 2006. "The complex dynamics of smallholder technology adoption: the case of SRI in Madagascar," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(3), pages 373-388, November.
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  7. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-90, October.
  8. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages _068, University of Pennsylvania.
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  10. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Caria, A. Stefano & Tamru, Seneshaw & Bizuneh, Gera, 2011. "Food security without food transfers?: A CGE analysis for Ethiopia of the different food security impacts of fertilizer subsidies and locally sourced food transfers," IFPRI discussion papers 1106, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Caria, A. Stefano & Tamru, Seneshaw & Bizuneh, Gera, 2011. "Food security without food transfers?: A CGE analysis for Ethiopia of the different food security impacts of fertilizer subsidies and locally sourced food transfers," ESSP working papers 29, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Martha Negash & Jo Swinnen, 2012. "Biofuels and Food Security: Micro-evidence from Ethiopia," LICOS Discussion Papers 31912, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  4. Tomoya Matsumoto, 2013. "Disseminating New Farming Practices among Small Scale Farmers: An Experimental Intervention in Uganda," GRIPS Discussion Papers 13-18, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

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