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Subsidies and the Persistence of Technology Adoption: Field Experimental Evidence from Mozambique

Author

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  • Michael R. Carter
  • Rachid Laajaj
  • Dean Yang

Abstract

We report the results of a randomized experiment testing impacts of subsidies for modern agricultural inputs in rural Mozambique. One-time provision of a voucher for fertilizer and improved seeds leads to substantial increases in fertilizer use, which persist through two subsequent agricultural seasons. Voucher receipt also leads to large, persistent increases in household agricultural production and market sales, per capita consumption, assets, durable good ownership, and housing improvements. Consistent with learning models of the adoption decision, we find positive treatment effects on farmers' estimated returns to the input package. We also document positive cross-household treatment spillovers: one's own fertilizer use rises in the number of social network members receiving vouchers. Our findings are consistent with theoretical models predicting persistence of impacts of temporary technology adoption subsidies, in particular due to learning effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael R. Carter & Rachid Laajaj & Dean Yang, 2014. "Subsidies and the Persistence of Technology Adoption: Field Experimental Evidence from Mozambique," NBER Working Papers 20465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20465
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-2390, October.
    2. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
    3. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman, 2001. "Cross-Country Technology Diffusion: The Case of Computers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 328-335, May.
    4. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Deininger, Klaus & Xia, Fang, 2016. "Quantifying Spillover Effects from Large Land-based Investment: The Case of Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 227-241.
    2. Stephen C. Smith & Ram Fishman & Vida BobicÌ & Munshi Sulaiman, "undated". "How Sustainable Are Benefits from Extension for Smallholder Farmers? Evidence from a Randomised Phase-Out of the BRAC Program in Uganda," Working Papers 2017-1, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    3. Simone Schaner, 2016. "The Persistent Power of Behavioral Change: Long-Run Impacts of Temporary Savings Subsidies for the Poor," NBER Working Papers 22534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:187-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Deininger,Klaus W. & Xia,Fang & Mate,Aurelio & Payongayong,Ellen & Deininger,Klaus W. & Xia,Fang & Mate,Aurelio & Payongayong,Ellen, 2015. "Quantifying spillover effects from large farm establishments : the case of Mozambique," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7466, The World Bank.
    6. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:1:p:70-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jayne, T.S. & Mason, Nicole M. & Burke, William J. & Ariga, Joshua, 2016. "Agricultural Input Subsidy Programs in Africa: An Assessment of Recent Evidence," Food Security International Development Working Papers 245892, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    8. B. Kelsey Jack & Paulina Oliva & Christopher Severen & Elizabeth Walker & Samuel Bell, 2015. "Technology Adoption Under Uncertainty: Take-Up and Subsequent Investment in Zambia," NBER Working Papers 21414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Alain de JANVRY & Elisabeth SADOULET & Manzoor DAR & Kyle EMERICK, 2016. "The Agricultural Technology Adoption Puzzle: What Can We Learn From Field Experiments?," Working Papers P178, FERDI.
    10. Tim Kaiser & Lukas Menkhoff, 2017. "Does Financial Education Impact Financial Literacy and Financial Behavior, and If So, When?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 611-630.
    11. Megan Sheahan & Joshua Ariga & T. S. Jayne, 2016. "Modeling the Effects of Input Market Reforms on Fertiliser Demand and Maize Production: A Case Study from Kenya," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(2), pages 420-447, June.
    12. Leuveld, Koen & Nillesen, Eleonora & Pieters, Janneke & Ross, Martha & Voors, Maarten & Wang Sonne, Elise, 2018. "Agricultural extension and input subsidies to reduce food insecurity. Evidence from a field experiment in the Congo," MERIT Working Papers 009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    13. Mason, Nicole M. & Wineman, Ayala & Kirimi, Lilian & Mather, David, 2016. "The Effects of Kenya’s ‘Smarter’ Input Subsidy Program on Smallholder Behavior and Incomes: Do Different Quasi-Experimental Approaches Lead to the Same Conclusions?," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 232090, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    14. repec:bla:jageco:v:68:y:2017:i:1:p:45-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Holden , Stein T., 2018. "Fertilizer and Sustainable Intensification in Africa," CLTS Working Papers 1/18, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    16. Anna Folke Larsen, 2015. "The network at work: Diffusion of banana cultivation in Tanzania," CAM Working Papers camwp2015_01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
    17. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1597-:d:146692 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Jacob Ricker-Gilbert & T. S. Jayne, 2017. "Estimating the Enduring Effects of Fertiliser Subsidies on Commercial Fertiliser Demand and Maize Production: Panel Data Evidence from Malawi," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 70-97, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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