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Social capital, risk preference and adoption of improved farm land management practices in Ethiopia

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  • Tesfamicheal Wossen
  • Thomas Berger
  • Salvatore Di Falco

Abstract

Many developing countries grapple with high rates of farmland degradation and low agricultural productivity amidst increasing climate variability. Considerable efforts have been exerted to promote the diffusion of improved farmland management to address these challenges. Despite these efforts, adoption rates, especially of soil conservation and water harvesting technologies, are still low, which has been the subject of investigation in several studies in Ethiopia and elsewhere. Most studies on the adoption of these technologies, however, tend to focus on economic incentives only, paying little attention to the role of social capital. This article provides evidence of the effects of different dimensions of social capital on innovation adoption across households holding different levels of risk aversion. We address this issue by using cross section and panel data from Ethiopia. Results show that social capital plays a significant role in enhancing the adoption of improved farmland management practices. We also find evidence that the effect of social capital across households with heterogeneous risk taking behavior is different.

Suggested Citation

  • Tesfamicheal Wossen & Thomas Berger & Salvatore Di Falco, 2015. "Social capital, risk preference and adoption of improved farm land management practices in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(1), pages 81-97, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:agecon:v:46:y:2015:i:1:p:81-97
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/agec.12142
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