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Social activity and collective action for agricultural innovation: a case study of New Rural Reconstruction in China

  • Mary-Françoise Renard

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

  • Huanxiu GUO

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

Since 2003, a grass-roots movement of New Rural Reconstruction (NRR) has emerged in China to experience alternative model of rural development. The movement adopts a particular approach for rural development on basis of rural social and cultural reconstruction. In order to understand this social approach, we investigate an original NRR experiment in a poor village of south China, where organic farming is promoted by means of basketball game. An in-depth household survey is conducted to qualitatively analyze this social approach and derive intuitive hypothesis of extended social network for empirical test. With a panel structure dataset collected by the survey, we quantitatively identify the causal effect of social network by exploiting the endogeneity of social network formation. Our identification result provides micro evidence for a large social multiplier effect in the diffusion of organic farming, whereas it is negative for organic experts. Also, our results highlight the role of women, education and labor force for the development of organic farming. On basis of these results, we conclude that organic farming is suitable but challenging for small villages in China, while social activity is a good lever to achieve farmers' collective action for its large diffusion.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00802119.

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Date of creation: 31 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00802119
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  1. Fang Cai & Meiyan Wang, 2008. "A Counterfactual Analysis on Unlimited Surplus Labor in Rural China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 16(1), pages 51-65.
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