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Social learning: an application to Kenyan agriculture


  • Kees Burger
  • Paul Collier
  • Jan Willem Gunning


Social learning is a phenomenon which has been investigated empirically in contexts as disparate as stock market pricing (Topol (1991)) and peasant agriculture (Case (1992) - See Loehlin (1987) for a survey). Two recent analytic models have provided an explicit framework in which agents supplement or even ignore their own information sets by imitating the decisions of others, (Ellison and Fudenberg (1993), Banerjee (1992), hereafter EF and B). In this paper we apply a variant of these analytic models to the adoption of coffee by Kenyan peasant farmers. Section 2 discusses options in the analytic modelling of the social learning process. Section 3 discusses the options which are feasible given our data set. Section 4 derives the econometric modelling design appropriate for these choices. Section 5 presents the results and Section 6 concludes.

Suggested Citation

  • Kees Burger & Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1993. "Social learning: an application to Kenyan agriculture," CSAE Working Paper Series 1993-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:1993-05

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Appleton & Arsene Balihuta, 1996. "Education and agricultural productivity: Evidence from Uganda," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 415-444.
    2. Jan Willem Gunning & Paul Collier, 1999. "Explaining African Economic Performance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 64-111, March.
    3. Sharada Weir & John Knight, 2000. "Adoption and diffusion of agricultural innovations in Ethiopia: the role of Education," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    4. Weir, Sharada & Knight, John, 2004. "Externality Effects of Education: Dynamics of the Adoption and Diffusion of an Innovation in Rural Ethiopia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 93-113, October.
    5. Kohnert, Dirk, 2007. "Common roots, shared traits, joint prospects? On the articulation of multiple modernities in Benin and Haiti," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 151-173.

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