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Spatial effects in organic agriculture adoption in Honduras: the role of social conformity, positive externalities, and information

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  • Wollni, Meike
  • Andersson, Camilla I.M.

Abstract

In low potential agricultural areas like the Honduran hillsides characterized by soil degradation and erosion, organic agriculture can provide a means to break the downward spiral of resource degradation and poverty. We use original survey data to analyze the factors influencing the decision to convert to organic agriculture. Previous studies have emphasized the role of spatial patterns in the diffusion and adoption of agricultural technologies in general and organic agriculture in particular. These spatial patterns can result from a variety of underlying factors. In this article we test various potential explanations, including the availability of information in the farmer's neighborhood, social conformity concerns and perceived positive external effects of the adoption decision, in a spatially explicit adoption model. We find that farmers who believe to act in accordance with their neighbors' expectations and with greater availability of information in their neighborhood network are more likely to adopt organic agriculture. Furthermore, perceived positive productivity spillovers to neighboring plots decrease the probability of adoption. We discuss the implications of our findings for the dissemination of sustainable agricultural technologies in low-potential agricultural areas in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Wollni, Meike & Andersson, Camilla I.M., 2013. "Spatial effects in organic agriculture adoption in Honduras: the role of social conformity, positive externalities, and information," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149911, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:149911
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/149911
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    neighborhood effects; social conformity; spatial autoregressive probit model; organic agriculture; technology adoption; Central America; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Environmental Economics and Policy; International Development; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; O13; O33; Q12; Q16;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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