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Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana

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  • Timothy G. Conley
  • Christopher R. Udry

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. Conditional on many potentially confounding variables, we find evidence that farmers adjust their inputs to align with those of their information neighbors who were surprisingly successful in previous periods. The relationship of these input adjustments to experience further indicates the presence of social learning. In addition, applying the same method to input choices for another crop, of known technology, correctly indicates an absence of social learning effects. (JEL D83, O13, O33, Q16)

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:1:p:35-69
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.1.35
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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