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Diffusion and spillover of new technology: a heterogeneous-agent model for cassava in West Africa

  • Michael E. Johnson
  • William A. Masters
  • Paul V. Preckel

Understanding what determines the geographic spread of innovations can help guide the funding and implementation of research and extension programs. Our approach uses household survey data as model parameters, to simulate behavior across the entire surveyed population and avoid the aggregation bias associated with representative-farm models. Such a "heterogeneous agent" approach allows us to infer the distribution of a technology's impacts across one set of households, and predict the potential for spreading to another set that shares similar characteristics with respect to natural resource endowments and farming systems. We apply the technique to new cassava varieties in West Africa, finding a strongly poverty-alleviating impact, with substantial spillover potential from Nigeria to neighboring countries. Copyright 2006 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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Article provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its journal Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (09)
Pages: 119-129

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Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:35:y:2006:i:2:p:119-129
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