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The role of social networks in an imperfect market for agricultural technology products: Evidence on Bt cotton adoption in Pakistan

Author

Listed:
  • Ma, Xingliang
  • Spielman, David J.
  • Nazli, Hina
  • Zambrano, Patricia
  • Zaidi, Fatima
  • Kouser, Shahzad

Abstract

Social networks play an important role in generating learning externalities that can drive the diffusion of innovative, and potentially poverty-reducing, technologies. This is particularly the case in developing countries where rural education, extension, and agricultural information services are underprovided. The recent introduction of genetically modified insect-resistant Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) cotton in Pakistan represents an example where imperfect markets, weak extension services, and information asymmetries limit the ability of farmers to make informed decisions on how to take best advantage of the technology. This study explores the role of social networks and learning externalities in the adoption of Bt cotton in Pakistan. We model how information from social network members influences farmers’ adoption decisions, controlling for farmers’ characteristics, cotton growing conditions, and other possible information sources. We apply our model to a representative sample of 728 cotton-growing households randomly selected in 2012-13 from 52 villages across Punjab and Sindh. We also assess the role of input dealers, progressive farmers, public extension agents, and farmers’ individual characteristics in the uptake of the technology. Results suggest that communication within social networks helps disseminate information about Bt cotton cultivation and has encouraged its adoption.

Suggested Citation

  • Ma, Xingliang & Spielman, David J. & Nazli, Hina & Zambrano, Patricia & Zaidi, Fatima & Kouser, Shahzad, 2014. "The role of social networks in an imperfect market for agricultural technology products: Evidence on Bt cotton adoption in Pakistan," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 175276, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea14:175276
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/175276/files/Bt%20cotton%20adoption%20_AAEA%202014%20submission_.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    2. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
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    7. Nazli, Hina & Orden, David & Sarker, Rakhal & Meilke, Karl D., 2012. "Bt Cotton Adoption and Wellbeing of Farmers in Pakistan," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126172, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nazli, Hina & Smale, Melinda, 2016. "Dynamics of variety change on wheat farms in Pakistan: A duration analysis," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 24-33.
    2. Herforth, Nico & Theuvsen, Ludwig & Vásquez, Wilson & Wollni, Meike, 2015. "Understanding participation in modern supply chains under a social network perspective – evidence from blackberry farmers in the Ecuadorian Andes," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 197709, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

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    Keywords

    Agricultural and Food Policy; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; International Development; Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies;

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