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Profitability of Fertilizer: Experimental Evidence from Female Rice Farmers in Mali

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Author Info

  • Lori Beaman

    ()
    (Northwestern University)

  • Dean Karlan

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Bram Thuysbaert

    ()
    (Innovations for Poverty Action)

  • Christopher Udry

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

Abstract

We conducted an experiment providing fertilizer grants to female rice farmers in Mali. We found that women who received fertilizer used both more fertilizer and more complementary inputs such as herbicides and hired labor. This shows that farmers respond to an increase in one input by re-optimizing other inputs. Second, while the increase in inputs led to a considerable increase in output, we found no evidence that profits increased. Our results suggest that fertilizer's impact on profits is small compared to other sources of variation. This may make it difficult for farmers to learn about the returns to fertilizer.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 1020.

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Length: 6 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1020

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Keywords: returns to fertilizer; agricultural economics;

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References

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  1. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2009. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," NBER Working Papers 15131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2008. "How High Are Rates of Return to Fertilizer? Evidence from Field Experiments in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 482-88, May.
  3. Tavneet Suri, 2011. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 159-209, 01.
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Cited by:
  1. Lori Beaman & Dean Karlan & Bram Thuysbaert & Christopher Udry, 2014. "Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 14/884, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  2. 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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