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Diffusion as a Learning Process: Evidence from HYV Cotton


  • Besley, T.
  • Case, A.


This paper develops new methods for studying the adoption of technologies that, at the time of their introduction, are of uncertain profitability. We focus on the rols played by learning in the evolution of a diffusion path and present a model that allows learning from the behavior of others as well as from the adopter's own experience. Equilibrium behavior explicitly allows for interaction between individuals when information is a public good. We consider both cooperative and non-cooperative models and apply our model to the adoption of HYV cotton in the semi-arid tropics, using data from ICRISAT village level surveys.
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Suggested Citation

  • Besley, T. & Case, A., 1994. "Diffusion as a Learning Process: Evidence from HYV Cotton," Papers 174, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:priwds:174

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1992. "Information-Aggregation Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 508-519, June.
    2. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-1248, September.
    3. Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1995. "Individual Income, Incomplete Information, and Aggregate Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 805-840, July.
    4. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Townsend, Robert M, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in Village India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(3), pages 539-591, May.
    6. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, January.
    7. Grossman, Sanford J. & Shiller, Robert J., 1982. "Consumption correlatedness and risk measurement in economies with non-traded assets and heterogeneous information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 195-210, July.
    8. Mace, Barbara J, 1991. "Full Insurance in the Presence of Aggregate Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 928-956, October.
    9. Dooley, Martin D & Gottschalk, Peter, 1984. "Earnings Inequality among Males in the United States: Trends and the Effect of Labor Force Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 59-89, February.
    10. Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1991. "Individual Income, Incomplete Information and Aggregate Consumption," Working Papers 669, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    11. Eden, Benjamin, 1980. "Stochastic Dominance in Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 135-145, February.
    12. repec:fth:prinin:289 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    14. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
    15. Nelson, Julie A, 1994. "On Testing for Full Insurance Using Consumer Expenditure Survey Data: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 384-394, April.
    16. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Age and Experience Profiles of Earnings," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 64-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
    18. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    19. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-976, October.
    20. Flavin, Marjorie A, 1981. "The Adjustment of Consumption to Changing Expectations about Future Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 974-1009, October.
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