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Learning About a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana

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  • Timothy G. Conley
  • Christopher R. Udry

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the role of social learning in the diffusion of a new agricultural technology in Ghana. We use unique data on farmers’ communication patterns to define each individual’s information neighborhood, the set of others from whom he might learn. Our empirical strategy is to test whether farmers adjust their inputs to align with those of their information neighbors who were surprisingly successful in previous periods. We present evidence that farmers adopt surprisingly successful neighbors’ practices, conditional on many potentially confounding factors including common growing conditions, credit arrangements, clan membership, and religion. The relationship of these input adjustments to experience further supports their interpretation as resulting from social learning. In addition, we apply our methods to input choices for another crop with known technology and they correctly indicate an absence of social learning effects.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 817.

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    Length: 62 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2000
    Date of revision: May 2004
    Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:817

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    Keywords: Social Learning; Technology; Innovation;

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    Cited by:
    1. Irene Brambilla & Guido G. Porto, 2005. "Farm Productivity and Market Structure. Evidence From Cotton Reforms in Zambia," Working Papers 919, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    2. Useche, Pilar & Barham, Bradford L. & Foltz, Jeremy D., 2005. "A Trait Specific Model of GM Crop Adoption among U.S. Corn Farmers in the Upper Midwest," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19202, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    3. Jonathan Skinner & Douglas Staiger, 2005. "Technology Adoption From Hybrid Corn to Beta Blockers," NBER Working Papers 11251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Irene Brambilla & Guido G. Porto, 2011. "Market structure, outgrower contracts, and farm output. Evidence from cotton reforms in Zambia," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(4), pages 740-766, December.
    5. Yamauchi, Futoshi & Ueyama, Mika, 2008. "Social learning, selection, and HIV infection: Evidence from Malawi," IFPRI discussion papers 817, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Quoc-Anh Do & Yen-Teik Lee & Bang Dang Nguyen & Kieu-Trang Nguyen, 2013. "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Value of Political Connections in Social Networks," Sciences Po publications 14, Sciences Po.
    7. Hojman, Daniel & Szeidl, Adam, 2006. "Core and Periphery in Endogenous Networks," Working Paper Series rwp06-022, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    8. Gine, Xavier & Klonner, Stefan, 2005. "Credit constraints as a barrier to technology adoption by the poor : lessons from South Indian small-scale fishery," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3665, The World Bank.
    9. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2005. "Social learning, neighborhood effects, and investment in human capital: Evidence from Green-Revolution India," FCND discussion papers 190, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Diop, Ndiame & Brenton, Paul & Asarkaya, Yakup, 2005. "Trade costs, export development, and poverty in Rwanda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3784, The World Bank.

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