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Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture

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  • Foster, Andrew D
  • Rosenzweig, Mark R

Abstract

Household-level panel data from a nationally representative sample of rural Indian households describing the adoption and profitability of high-yielding seed varieties (HYVs) associated with the Green Revolution are used to test the implications of a model incorporating learning by doing and learning spillovers. The estimates indicate that imperfect knowledge about the management of the new seeds was a significant barrier to adoption; this barrier diminished as farmer experience with the new technologies increased; own experience and neighbors' experience with HYVs significantly increased HYV profitability; and farmers do not fully incorporate the village returns to learning in making adoption decisions. Copyright 1995 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:103:y:1995:i:6:p:1176-1209
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Besley, T. & Case, A., 1994. "Diffusion as a Learning Process: Evidence from HYV Cotton," Papers 174, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
    3. 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 255-298, January.
    4. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Are Nonconvexities Important for Understanding Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 97-103, May.
    5. repec:pri:rpdevs:besley_case_diffusion is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1993. "Modeling Technology Adoption in Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 396-402, May.
    7. repec:pri:rpdevs:besley_case_diffusion.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-583, August.
    9. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, May.
    10. Case, Anne C, 1991. "Spatial Patterns in Household Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 953-965, July.
    11. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-846, September.
    12. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-991, October.
    13. Bliss, C. J. & Stern, N. H., 1982. "Palanpur: The Economy of an Indian Village," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284192.
    14. Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1994. "The Bayesian Foundations of Learning by Doing," Working Papers 94-15, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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