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Adoption and diffusion of agricultural innovations in Ethiopia: the role of Education

  • Sharada Weir
  • John Knight

Schooling has been shown to provide substantial externality benefits by increasing farm output and shifting the production frontier outwards. This paper investigates the role of schooling at the household- and site-levels in the adoption and diffusion of agricultural innovations in rural Ethiopia. We find that household-level education is important to the timing of adoption but less crucial to the question of whether a household has ever adopted fertiliser, i.e., early innovators tend to be educated and to be copied by those who adopt later, obscuring the relationship between education and adoption at the household-level. By contrast, site-level education appears not to affect the timing of an innovation’s introduction to the site, but does influence the extent of diffusion. Thus, there are two externality effects: educated farmers are early innovators, providing an example which may be copied by lesseducated farmers; and educated farmers are better able to copy those who innovate first, enhancing diffusion of the new technology more widely within the site.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2000-05.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2000-05
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  1. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew, 1993. "Rules of Thumb for Social Learning," Scholarly Articles 3196332, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Shujie Yao, 1996. "The determinants of cereal crop productivity of the peasant farm sector in Ethiopia, 1981-87," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 69-82.
  3. Sharada Weir, 1999. "The effects of education on farmer productivity in rural Ethiopia," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1999-07, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  5. Jamison, Dean T. & Moock, Peter R., 1984. "Farmer education and farm efficiency in Nepal: The role of schooling, extension services, and cognitive skills," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 67-86, January.
  6. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-98, January.
  7. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
  8. Mark Rosenzweig & Andrew D. Foster, . "Technical Change and Human Capital Returns and Investments: Evidence from the Green Revolution," Home Pages _065, University of Pennsylvania.
  9. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, July.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1993. "Modeling Technology Adoption in Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 396-402, May.
  11. Sharada Weir & John Knight, 2000. "Education externalities in rural Ethiopia: evidence from average and stochastic frontier production functions," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  12. Basu, Kaushik & Foster, James E, 1998. "On Measuring Literacy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1733-49, November.
  13. 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.
  14. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
  15. John Knight & Sharada Weir & Tassew Woldehanna, 2003. "The role of education in facilitating risk-taking and innovation in agriculture," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 1-22.
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