Social activity and collective action for agricultural innovation: a case study of New Rural Reconstruction in China
Since 2003, a grass-roots movement of New Rural Reconstruction (NRR) has emerged to promote sustainable agricultural development in China. The NRR is regarded as an alternative development model for its distinct initiative based on rural social and cultural reconstruction. To provide profound understanding about its social mechanism, we examine an original NRR case where organic farming is promoted by basketball game. With an in-depth rural household survey, we qualitatively study this case and derive hypothesis of social networking by basketball game. We then empirically test this hypothesis by identifying causal social network effect on organic farming development. Our identification stems from exploiting the endogeneity of social network formation and provides robust micro evidence for a large social multiplier effect on diffusion of organic farming. Also, our result highlights the role of women, education and labor in organic farming development. Based on the result, we conclude that social activities are cost-effective means of social networking, which is essential for diffusion of sustainable agricultural innovation in small village.
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