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Externality Effects of Education: Dynamics of the Adoption and Diffusion of an Innovation in Rural Ethiopia

Listed author(s):
  • Weir, Sharada
  • Knight, John

This article investigates the role of schooling at the household and community levels in the adoption and diffusion of agricultural innovations in rural Ethiopia. We find that household-level education is important to the timing of adoption but less crucial to the question of whether a household has ever adopted fertilizer (since those without schooling may eventually copy the educated). Community-level education substitutes for low levels of household education, encouraging uneducated farmers to adopt sooner than would be predicted in the absence of educated neighbors. Moreover, community-level education is complementary to household education in determining which farmers will eventually adopt. Thus, evidence is presented to suggest that there are two externality effects: educated farmers are early innovators, providing an example that may be copied by less-educated farmers; and educated farmers are better able to copy those who innovate first, enhancing diffusion of the new technology more widely within the site.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/423254
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 53 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 93-113

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2004:v:53:i:1:p:93-113
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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  1. repec:fth:oxesaf:93.5 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. 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.
  3. Jay Pil Choi, 1997. "Herd Behavior, the 'Penguin Effect,' and the Suppression of Informational Diffusion: An Analysis of Informational Externalities and Payoff Interdependency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 407-425, Autumn.
  4. Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "Installed Base and Compatibility: Innovation, Product Preannouncements, and Predation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 940-955, December.
  5. repec:fth:oxesaf:2000-4 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Andre Croppenstedt & Mulat Demeke & Meloria M. Meschi, 2003. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Constraints: the Case of Fertilizer Demand in Ethiopia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(1), pages 58-70, February.
  7. Shujie Yao, 1996. "The determinants of cereal crop productivity of the peasant farm sector in Ethiopia, 1981-87," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 69-82.
  8. Jamison, Dean T. & Moock, Peter R., 1984. "Farmer education and farm efficiency in Nepal: The role of schooling, extension services, and cognitive skills," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 67-86, January.
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