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The Effect of Social Capital on Fertilizer Adoption: Evidence from Rural Tanzania

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  • Jonathan Isham

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Abstract

Do the characterisitics of local social structures affect fertilizer adoption among rural households? This paper extends the model of technology adoption of Feder and Slade (1984) to incorporate social capital, and then tests the model with household data from two agro-ecological zones in rural Tanzania. Probit estimates of the model show that the probability of adoption of improved fertilizer in 1994-95 in the Central Plateau region in increasing in land under cultivation, cumulative adoption patterns, ethnically-based social affiliations, the adoption of improved seeds, the availability of credit and extension services, and the average years of residence in the village. In the Plains region, this probability is increasing in land under cultivation, ethnically based social affiliations and consultative norms. Overall, these results, which are robust after testing for the likely reverse causality of land under cultivation, support the finding that ethnically based and participatory social affiliations act as forms of social capital in the adoption decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Isham, 2002. "The Effect of Social Capital on Fertilizer Adoption: Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0225, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:0225
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
    2. Kaliba, Aloyce R. & Verkuijl, Hugo & Mwangi, Wilfred, 2000. "Factors Affecting Adoption Of Improved Maize Seeds And Use Of Inorganic Fertilizer For Maize Production In The Intermediate And Lowland Zones Of Tanzania," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(01), April.
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    4. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
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    10. Case, Anne, 1992. "Neighborhood influence and technological change," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 491-508, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social capital; technology adoption; Tanzania;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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