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Heterogeneous returns and the persistence of agricultural technology adoption

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew Zeitlin
  • Stefano Caria
  • Richman Dzene
  • Petr Janský
  • Emmanuel Opoku
  • Francis Teal

Abstract

In this paper we explore whether low rates of sustained technology use can be explained by heterogeneity in returns to adoption. To do so we evaluate impacts of the Cocoa Abrabopa Association, which provided a package of fertilizer and other inputs on credit to cocoa farmers in Ghana. High estimated average productive impacts for treated farmers are found to be consistent with negative economic profits for a substantial proportion of the treated population. By constructing an individual specific measure of returns,we demonstrate that low realized returns among adopters are associated with low retention rates, even after conditioning on output levels and successful repayment. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that high average returns mask substantial and persistent heterogeneity, and that farmers experiment in order to learn about their idiosyncratic returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Zeitlin & Stefano Caria & Richman Dzene & Petr Janský & Emmanuel Opoku & Francis Teal, 2010. "Heterogeneous returns and the persistence of agricultural technology adoption," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-37, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2010-37
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    File URL: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:a6841806-05bf-4541-ba2f-63a2f64bc99d
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. World Bank, 2010. "World Development Report 2010," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 4387, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sakos, Grayson & Cerulli, Giovanni & Garbero, Alessandra, 2021. "Beyond the ATE: Idiosyncratic Effect Estimation to Uncover Distributional Impacts Results from 17 Impact Evaluations," 2021 Annual Meeting, August 1-3, Austin, Texas 314017, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Negash, Martha & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2013. "Biofuels and food security: Micro-evidence from Ethiopia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 963-976.
    3. Matsumoto, Tomoya, 2014. "Disseminating new farming practices among small scale farmers: An experimental intervention in Uganda," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 43-74.
    4. Caria, A. Stefano & Tamru, Seneshaw & Bizuneh, Gera, 2011. "Food security without food transfers?: A CGE analysis for Ethiopia of the different food security impacts of fertilizer subsidies and locally sourced food transfers," IFPRI discussion papers 1106, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Jared Hutchins & Brent Hueth & Guilherme Rosa, 2019. "Quantifying Heterogeneous Returns to Genetic Selection: Evidence from Wisconsin Dairies," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Research and Innovation in Agriculture, pages 81-105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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