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Does experience sharing affect farmers’ pro-environmental behavior? A randomized controlled trial in Vietnam

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  • Vu, Ha Thu
  • Tran, Duc
  • Goto, Daisaku
  • Kawata, Keisuke

Abstract

Encouraging farmers to adopt pro-environmental production is vital to the promotion of sustainable agriculture. Previous observational studies emphasize the importance of economic incentives and information access to farmers’ decision-making processes; however, due to endogeneity issues, little strong causal evidence is available. This study makes an original contribution by experimentally examining the impacts of the 50% price subsidy and information treatments on farmers’ adoption of organic fertilizer. A short video sharing the experience of farmers who have applied organic fertilizer is selected as our information treatment. We analyze data from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted with 1287 small-scale tea farmers in Vietnam. We find significant impacts of both the information and 50% price subsidy treatments. Moreover, the effect of the former is approximately one-third that of the latter. Subgroup treatment analysis also reveals that the information treatment performs well for members of certification groups. Thus, to induce farmers to adopt pro-environmental production behaviors, information treatment can partially substitute for subsidies to reduce the burden on the public budget.

Suggested Citation

  • Vu, Ha Thu & Tran, Duc & Goto, Daisaku & Kawata, Keisuke, 2020. "Does experience sharing affect farmers’ pro-environmental behavior? A randomized controlled trial in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:136:y:2020:i:c:s0305750x20301881
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105062
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