Risk and Ambiguity Preferences and the Adoption of New Agricultural Technologies: Evidence from Field Experiments in Rural India
In this paper we conduct a series of field experiments in rural India in order to measure preferences related to risk, loss, and ambiguity. Disaggregating by data, we find that on average women are significantly more risk averse and loss averse than men, though the higher average risk aversion arises due to a greater share of women who are extremely risk averse. Through a series of two empirical examples, we demonstrate how these parameters affect decisions to adopt new agricultural technologies. By combining these results with a choice experiment over new and familiar rice seeds, we find that ambiguity averse individuals are far more likely to stick with seeds they are familiar with, while a greater degree of loss aversion generally suggests people are more willing to switch to a new variety.
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