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Ambiguity Aversion As A Predictor Of Technology Choice: Experimental Evidence From Peru

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  • Jim Engle-Warnick
  • Javier Escobal
  • Sonia Laszlo

Abstract

The lack of adoption of new farming technologies despite known benefits is a well-documented phenomenon in development economics. In addition to a number of market constraints, risk aversion predominates the discussion of behavioral determinants of technology adoption. We hypothesize that ambiguity aversion may also be a determinant, since farmers may have less information about the distribution of yield outcomes from new technologies compared with traditional technologies. We test this hypothesis with a laboratory experiment in the field in which we measure risk and ambiguity preferences. We combine our experiment with a survey in which we collect information on farm decisions and identify market constraints. We find that ambiguity aversion does indeed predict actual technology choices on the farm.

Suggested Citation

  • Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2007. "Ambiguity Aversion As A Predictor Of Technology Choice: Experimental Evidence From Peru," Departmental Working Papers 2007-04, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcl:mclwop:2007-04
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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