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Intrahousehold valuation, preference heterogeneity, and demand of an agricultural technology in Bihar, India

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  • Gulati, Kajal
  • Ward, Patrick
  • Lybbert, Travis
  • Spielman, David

Abstract

Measuring intrahousehold preferences for the production activities of the household is challenging as the decisions are made jointly and it is often not possible to switch spheres of influence within a household. An example of a situation where divergent preferences may exist amongst household members even though household constraints masks the household decision is that of rice transplanting in India. In many parts of India, manual rice transplanting in puddled conditions tends to be a task primarily reserved for women, and is highly labor-intensive and arduous. Quite recently, mechanical rice transplanters (MRT), which are a labor-saving production technology, are being promoted in rice-producing areas in the country. We elicit intrahousehold heterogeneity in preferences for mechanical rice transplanting by combining hypothetical and experimental elicitation mechanisms. After informing randomly selected agricultural households about mechanical rice transplanting, we elicited attribute-based non-monetary preferences and monetary hypothetical willingness to pay measures for mechanical and traditional transplanting for women and men in the same household from a sample of 965 households in Bihar, India. Soon after, we conducted village-level, incentive-compatible auctions for providing actual mechanical rice transplanting services, which allowed us to elicit experimental measures of household heads’ willingness to pay. Our study finds evidence of deviations from hypothetical to experimental valuations. However, most individuals did not change their pure preferences for the technology and instead refined their willingness to pay. Knowing the technology service provider during the auctions reduced the difference between hypothetical and individual valuations. Bargaining power of female household members did not play any role in shifting the willingness to pay measures. Women in households where only family labor is used for transplanting value MRTs higher than men by Rs. 162.69, which is driven by their preferences instead of a difference in their individual characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Gulati, Kajal & Ward, Patrick & Lybbert, Travis & Spielman, David, 2016. "Intrahousehold valuation, preference heterogeneity, and demand of an agricultural technology in Bihar, India," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236280, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea16:236280
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    Keywords

    Demand and Price Analysis; International Development; Production Economics;

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