Poverty status and the impact of social networks on smallholder technology adoption in rural Ethiopia
Despite recent traces of economic growth, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Though about 80% of its population is engaged in agriculture, agricultural productivity remains low and extremely vulnerable to climatic conditions. The adoption and use of modern technologies is generally accepted as a potential vehicle out of poverty for many but adoption rates in the country remain low with the nature of the adoption process largely unstudied (Spielman et al, 2007). This paper studies the impact of social networks in the technology adoption process in rural Ethiopia. In particular it tests for the presence of social learning effects. In addition to geographic networks, it considers the role played by other networks with more purposeful interactions such as a household’s friends. The study explores the differential impacts of social networks by network type, technology and the asset poverty status of households.
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