IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/20465.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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

Author

Listed:
  • 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
    Note: DEV
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20465.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2007. "The Illusion of Sustainability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1007-1065.
    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. Ellis,Frank, 1992. "Agricultural Policies in Developing Countries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521395847.
    4. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2006. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 869-902, October.
    5. T.S. Jayne & David Mather & Nicole Mason & Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, 2013. "How do fertilizer subsidy programs affect total fertilizer use in sub-Saharan Africa? Crowding out, diversion, and benefit/cost assessments," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(6), pages 687-703, November.
    6. Emily Oster & Rebecca Thornton, 2012. "Determinants Of Technology Adoption: Peer Effects In Menstrual Cup Take-Up," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1263-1293, December.
    7. Pan, Lei & Christiaensen, Luc, 2012. "Who is Vouching for the Input Voucher? Decentralized Targeting and Elite Capture in Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1619-1633.
    8. 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.
    9. Comin, D. & Hobijn, B., 2004. "Cross-country technology adoption: making the theories face the facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 39-83, January.
    10. Gine, Xavier & Klonner, Stefan, 2005. "Credit constraints as a barrier to technology adoption by the poor : lessons from South Indian small-scale fishery," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3665, The World Bank.
    11. Alessandro Tarozzi & Aprajit Mahajan & Brian Blackburn & Dan Kopf & Lakshmi Krishnan & Joanne Yoong, 2014. "Micro-loans, Insecticide-Treated Bednets, and Malaria: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Orissa, India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 1909-1941, July.
    12. Christine M. Moser & Christopher B. Barrett, 2006. "The complex dynamics of smallholder technology adoption: the case of SRI in Madagascar," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(3), pages 373-388, November.
    13. McKenzie, David, 2012. "Beyond baseline and follow-up: The case for more T in experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 210-221.
    14. 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.
    15. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
    16. T.S. Jayne & Shahidur Rashid, 2013. "Input subsidy programs in sub-Saharan Africa: a synthesis of recent evidence," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 44(6), pages 547-562, November.
    17. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Paudel, Jayash & Crago, Christine L., 2017. "Fertilizer Subsidy and Agricultural Productivity: Empirical Evidence from Nepal," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258464, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Estelle Koussoubé & Céline Nauges, 2017. "Returns to fertiliser use: Does it pay enough? Some new evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 183-210.
    3. Holden, Stein T., 2018. "The Economics of Fertilizer Subsidies," CLTS Working Papers 9/18, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, revised 16 Oct 2019.
    4. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2010. "Microeconomics of Technology Adoption," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 395-424, September.
    5. Abay, Kibrom A. & Berhane, Guush & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum & Koru, Bethlehem & Abay, Kibrewossen, 2016. "Understanding farmers’ technology adoption decisions: Input complementarity and heterogeneity:," ESSP working papers 82, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Jayne, Thomas S. & Mason, Nicole M. & Burke, William J. & Ariga, Joshua, 2018. "Review: Taking stock of Africa’s second-generation agricultural input subsidy programs," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 1-14.
    7. Bonan, Jacopo & Battiston, Pietro & Bleck, Jaimie & LeMay-Boucher, Philippe & Pareglio, Stefano & Sarr, Bassirou & Tavoni, Massimo, 2021. "Social interaction and technology adoption: Experimental evidence from improved cookstoves in Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    8. Liverpool-Tasie, Lenis Saweda O. & Jayne, Thomas & Muyanga, Milu & Sanou, Awa, 2017. "Are African Farmers Experiencing Improved Incentives To Use Fertilizer?," Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Papers 270632, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    9. Jayne, T.S. & Mason, Nicole M. & Burke, William J. & Ariga, Joshua, 2016. "Agricultural Input Subsidy Programs In Africa: An Assessment Of Recent Evidence," Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Papers 259509, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    10. Van Asselt, Joanna & Grogan, Kelly A., 2020. "Do Fertilizer Subsidies Improve Soil Quality: Myopic vs. Dynamic Analysis of Smallholder Farmers in Ghana," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304546, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Kazushi Takahashi & Rie Muraoka & Keijiro Otsuka, 2020. "Technology adoption, impact, and extension in developing countries’ agriculture: A review of the recent literature," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 51(1), pages 31-45, January.
    12. Lambrecht, Isabel & Vanlauwe, Bernard & Merckx, Roel & Maertens, Miet, 2014. "Understanding the Process of Agricultural Technology Adoption: Mineral Fertilizer in Eastern DR Congo," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 132-146.
    13. Channing Arndt & Karl Pauw & James Thurlow, 2016. "The Economy-wide Impacts and Risks of Malawi's Farm Input Subsidy Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(3), pages 962-980.
    14. Dominik Naeher, 2022. "Technology Adoption Under Costly Information Processing," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 63(2), pages 699-753, May.
    15. Harou, Aurélie P., 2018. "Unraveling the effect of targeted input subsidies on dietary diversity in household consumption and child nutrition: The case of Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 124-135.
    16. Jayne, T.S. & Sitko, Nicholas J. & Mason, Nicole M., 2017. "Can Input Subsidy Programs Contribute To Climate Smart Agriculture?," Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Papers 270626, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    17. Barrett,Christopher B. & Sheahan,Megan Britney & Barrett,Christopher B. & Sheahan,Megan Britney, 2014. "Understanding the agricultural input landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa : recent plot, household, and community-level evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7014, The World Bank.
    18. Fafchamps, Marcel & Islam, Asad & Malek, Mohammad Abdul & Pakrashi, Debayan, 2020. "Can referral improve targeting? Evidence from an agricultural training experiment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    19. Fujimoto, Takefumi & Suzuki, Aya, 2021. "Do Fertilizer and Seed Subsidies Strengthen Farmers' Market Participation? the Impact of Tanzania NAIVS on Farmers' Purchase of Agricultural Inputs and Their Maize-Selling Activities," 2021 Conference, August 17-31, 2021, Virtual 315044, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    20. Meredith, Jennifer & Robinson, Jonathan & Walker, Sarah & Wydick, Bruce, 2013. "Keeping the doctor away: Experimental evidence on investment in preventative health products," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 196-210.

    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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20465. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.