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Poverty status and the impact of social networks on smallholder technology adoption in rural Ethiopia

  • Liverpool, Lenis Saweda O.
  • Winter-Nelson, Alex

Despite the promise of many new farm technologies, technology adoption rates in Ethiopia remain low. This paper studies the impact of social networks on technology adoption through social learning. In addition to geographic networks, intentional relationships are considered. The differential impacts by network type, technology, and asset poverty status are explored. We find evidence that although social learning occurs, it is more consistent for households not in poverty traps than for those that are persistently asset poor. Social learning among rural households is stronger for more complex technologies and is associated with intentional relationships rather than with geographic networks.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 970.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:970
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  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Steven N. Durlauf, 2004. "Social Capital," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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  9. Heidi Hogset & Christopher B. Barrett, 2010. "Social Learning, Social Influence, and Projection Bias: A Caution on Inferences Based on Proxy Reporting of Peer Behavior," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(3), pages 563-589, 04.
  10. Marenya, Paswel P. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2007. "Household-level determinants of adoption of improved natural resources management practices among smallholder farmers in western Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 515-536, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Liverpool, Lenis Saweda O. & Winter-Nelson, Alex, 2010. "Poverty Status and the Impact of Formal Credit on Technology Use and Wellbeing among Ethiopian Smallholders," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 541-554, April.
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  14. Prescott, Edward C, 1972. "The Multi-Period Control Problem Under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(6), pages 1043-58, November.
  15. Timothy Conley & Udry Christopher, 2001. "Social Learning Through Networks: The Adoption of New Agricultural Technologies in Ghana," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 668-673.
  16. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
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