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Better Technology, Better Plots, or Better Farmers? Identifying Changes in Productivity and Risk among Malagasy Rice Farmers

  • Christopher B. Barrett
  • Christine M. Moser
  • Oloro V. McHugh
  • Joeli Barison

We introduce a method for properly attributing observed productivity and risk changes among new production methods, farmers, and plots by controlling for farmer and plot heterogeneity. Results from Madagascar show that the new system of rice intensification (SRI) is indeed a superior technology. Although about half of the observed productivity gains appear due to farmer characteristics rather than SRI itself, the technology generates the estimated average output gains of more than 84%. The increased estimated yield risk associated with SRI would nonetheless make it unattractive to many farmers within the standard range of relative risk aversion. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.0002-9092.2004.00640.x
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Article provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its journal American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 869-888

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:86:y:2004:i:4:p:869-888
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  1. Stoop, Willem A. & Uphoff, Norman & Kassam, Amir, 2002. "A review of agricultural research issues raised by the system of rice intensification (SRI) from Madagascar: opportunities for improving farming systems for resource-poor farmers," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 249-274, March.
  2. Moser, Christine M. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2003. "The disappointing adoption dynamics of a yield-increasing, low external-input technology: the case of SRI in Madagascar," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 1085-1100, June.
  3. Just, Richard E. & Pope, Rulon D., 1978. "Stochastic specification of production functions and economic implications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 67-86, February.
  4. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Home Pages _068, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-98, January.
  6. Lisa A. Cameron, 1999. "The Importance of Learning in the Adoption of High-Yielding Variety Seeds," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 83-94.
  7. Christine M. Moser & Christopher B. Barrett, 2006. "The complex dynamics of smallholder technology adoption: the case of SRI in Madagascar," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(3), pages 373-388, November.
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