IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Leveling with friends: Social networks and Indian farmers' demand for a technology with heterogeneous benefits

Listed author(s):
  • Magnan, Nicholas
  • Spielman, David J.
  • Lybbert, Travis J.
  • Gulati, Kajal

Agricultural technologies typically spread as farmers learn about profitability through social networks. This process can be nuanced, however, when net returns for some farmers may not be positive. We investigate how social learning influences demand for a resource-conserving technology in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. We identify potential adopters through an experimental auction and randomly select a subset to adopt. We exploit this variation in adoption across networks to estimate network effects on demand for the technology one year later using a second auction. Technology benefits vary, and network effects are completely conditional on benefits. Having a benefiting adopter in one's network increased demand by over 50%, whereas having a non-benefiting adopter had no effect. These effects are strong enough to bring average demand in line with expected benefits. For many farmers, however, demand remains below the market price, suggesting that network effects will lead to increased—but not rapid widespread—adoption.

If 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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304387815000619
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 116 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 223-251

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:116:y:2015:i:c:p:223-251
DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2015.05.003
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as
in new window


  1. Sabina Alkire and Maria Emma Santos, "undated". "Acute Multidimensional Poverty: A New Index for Developing Countries," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp038, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  2. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2006. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 869-902, October.
  3. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
  4. 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.
  5. Tavneet Suri, 2011. "Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 159-209, January.
  6. Jackson, Matthew O. & Wolinsky, Asher, 1996. "A Strategic Model of Social and Economic Networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 44-74, October.
  7. Feder, Gershon, 1980. "Farm Size, Risk Aversion and the Adoption of New Technology under Uncertainty," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 263-283, July.
  8. 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.
  9. Munshi, Kaivan & Myaux, Jacques, 2006. "Social norms and the fertility transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 1-38, June.
  10. Elaine M. Liu, 2013. "Time to Change What to Sow: Risk Preferences and Technology Adoption Decisions of Cotton Farmers in China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1386-1403, October.
  11. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2007. "Agricultural Extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
  12. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
  13. Birner, Regina & Davis, Kristin & Pender, John & Nkonya, Ephraim & Anandajayasekeram, Pooniah & Ekboir, Javier M. & Mbabu, Adiel N. & Spielman, David J. & Horna, Daniela & Benin, Samuel & Kisamba-Muge, 2006. "From "best practice" to "best fit": a framework for designing and analyzing pluralistic agricultural advisory services," Research briefs 4, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  14. Jing Cai & Alain De Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2015. "Social Networks and the Decision to Insure," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 81-108, April.
  15. Besley, T. & Case, A., 1994. "Diffusion as a Learning Process: Evidence from HYV Cotton," Papers 174, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  16. Emily Oster & Rebecca Thornton, 2012. "Determinants Of Technology Adoption: Peer Effects In Menstrual Cup Take-Up," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1263-1293, December.
  17. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2007. "The Illusion of Sustainability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1007-1065.
  18. Ariel BenYishay & A. Mushfiq Mobarak, 2013. "Communicating with Farmers through Social Networks," Working Papers 1030, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  19. Kathryn Vasilaky, 2013. "Female Social Networks and Farmer Training: Can Randomized Information Exchange Improve Outcomes?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(2), pages 376-383.
  20. repec:pri:rpdevs:besley_case_diffusion is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Philip S. Babcock & John L. Hartman, 2010. "Networks and Workouts: Treatment Size and Status Specific Peer Effects in a Randomized Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 16581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:116:y:2015:i:c:p:223-251. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.