Learning Through Noticing: Theory and Experimental Evidence in Farming
AbstractExisting learning models attribute failures to learn to a lack of data. We model a different barrier. Given the large number of dimensions one could focus on when using a technology, people may fail to learn because they failed to notice important features of the data they possess. We conduct a field experiment with seaweed farmers to test a model of “learning through noticing”. We find evidence of a failure to notice: On some dimensions, farmers do not even know the value of their own input. Interestingly, trials show that these dimensions are the ones that farmers fail to optimize. Furthermore, consistent with the model, we find that simply having access to the experimental data does not induce learning. Instead, farmers change behavior only when presented with summaries that highlight the overlooked dimensions. We also draw out the implications of learning through noticing for technology adoption, agricultural extension, and the meaning of human capital.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18401.
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Note: DEV LS PR
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Hanna, Rema & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Schwartzstein, Joshua, 2012. "Learning through Noticing: Theory and Experimental Evidence in Farming," Working Paper Series rwp12-044, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2012-09-30 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-EXP-2012-09-30 (Experimental Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Conley, T.G. & Udry, C.R., 2000.
"Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana,"
817, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2005. "Learning about a new technology: pineapple in Ghana," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
- Botond Koszegi & Adam Szeidl, 2013.
"A Model of Focusing in Economic Choice,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 53-104.
- Bloom, Nicholas & Eifert, Benn & Mahajan, Aprajit & McKenzie, David & Roberts, John, 2011.
"Does management matter ? evidence from India,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
5573, The World Bank.
- Bloom, Nicholas & Eifert, Benn & Mahajan, Aprajit & McKenzie, David & Roberts, John, 2010. "Does Management Matter?: Evidence from India," Research Papers 2074, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
- Nicholas Bloom & David McKenzie, 2010. "Does Management Matter? Evidence From India," Discussion Papers 10-014, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Nick Bloom & Ben Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2010. "Does management matter?: evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 36366, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Nicholas Bloom & Benn Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2011. "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 16658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nicholas Bloom & Benn Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2011. "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India," CEP Discussion Papers dp1042, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Andrei Shleifer & Nicola Gennaioli & Pedro Bordalo, 2011.
"Salience theory of choice under risk,"
2011 Meeting Papers
1442, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, . "Salience Theory of Choice Under Risk," Working Paper 29210, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Salience Theory of Choice Under Risk," NBER Working Papers 16387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Evenson, Robert E., 2001. "Economic impacts of agricultural research and extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 573-628 Elsevier.
- Paul Niehaus, 2011. "Filtered Social Learning," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 686 - 720.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Why Are There Returns to Schooling?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 153-58, May.
- Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995.
"Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
- 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.
- Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
- Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1993. "Modeling Technology Adoption in Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 396-402, May.
- Jovanovic, B. & Nyarko, Y., 1996.
"Learning by Doing and the Choice of Technology,"
96-25, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Jock R. Anderson, 2004. "Agricultural Extension: Good Intentions and Hard Realities," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 41-60.
- Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," NBER Working Papers 16911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tavneet Suri, 2011. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 159-209, 01.
- Andre Croppenstedt & Mulat Demeke & Meloria M. Meschi, 2003. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Constraints: the Case of Fertilizer Demand in Ethiopia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 58-70, February.
- Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Juliette Seban & Elise Huillery, 2012. "Impacts of School-Based HIV Education on Reported Behavior and Knowledge of Adolescent Girls, Evidence from Cameroon," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/7o52iohb7k6, Sciences Po.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.