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Review of Theories of Learning for Adopting

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  • Elisabeth SADOULET

    (University of California Berkeley)

Abstract

The diffusion of a new agricultural technology requires farmers to learn about the existence and the benefits of the technology. What do they have to learn, how do they learn it, and from whom, is the subject of a large literature, both theoretical and empirical. The purpose of this brief is to review the most prominent learning models, briefly assess recent empirical results derived from these theories, and raise a few important remaining issues not explicitly addressed by the theories.We will focus on the literature that refers to learning from experience, either own or that of others, giving prominence to the network of connections that farmers have. This review is purposefully very selective, with the objective of illustrating concepts and categories of models, rather than providing a genuine literature review. Paper prepared for the Ferdi and SPIA workshop Learning for adopting: Technology adoption in developing country agriculture, held in Clermont-Ferrand (France), June 1 and 2, 2016

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  • Elisabeth SADOULET, 2016. "Review of Theories of Learning for Adopting," Working Papers P163, FERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:fdi:wpaper:3194
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    1. Feder, Gershon & Savastano, Sara, 2006. "The role of opinion leaders in the diffusion of new knowledge: The case of integrated pest management," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1287-1300, July.
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    4. Wang, Honglin & Yu, Fan & Reardon, Thomas & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2013. "Social learning and parameter uncertainty in irreversible investments: Evidence from greenhouse adoption in northern China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 104-120.
    5. Kondylis, Florence & Mueller, Valerie & Zhu, Jessica, 2017. "Seeing is believing? Evidence from an extension network experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 1-20.
    6. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
    7. Magnan, Nicholas & Spielman, David J. & Lybbert, Travis J. & Gulati, Kajal, 2015. "Leveling with friends: Social networks and Indian farmers' demand for a technology with heterogeneous benefits," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 223-251.
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    9. Bardhan, Pranab & Udry, Christopher, 1999. "Development Microeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773719.
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