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From Learning to Doing: Diffusion of Agricultural Innovations in Guinea-Bissau

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  • Rute Martins Caeiro

Abstract

This paper analyzes the role of social networks in the diffusion of knowledge and adoption of cultivation techniques, from trainees to the wider community, in the context of an extension project in Guinea-Bissau. In order to test for social learning, we exploit a detailed census of households and social connections across different dimensions. More precisely, we make use of a village photo directory in order to obtain a comprehensive and fully mapped social network dataset. We find evidence that agricultural information spreads across networks from project participants to non-participants, with different networks having different importance. The most relevant connection is found to be between the network of people from which individuals would ‘borrow money’. We are also able to disentangle the relative importance of weak and strong ties: in our context, weak ties are as important in the diffusion of agricultural knowledge as strong ties. Despite positive diffusion effects in knowledge, we found limited evidence of network effects in adoption behavior. Finally, using longitudinal network data, we document improvements in the network position of treated farmers over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Rute Martins Caeiro, 2019. "From Learning to Doing: Diffusion of Agricultural Innovations in Guinea-Bissau," NBER Working Papers 26065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26065
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    10. repec:hal:pseose:halshs-01109038 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Rose Deperrois & Adélaïde Fadhuile & Julie Subervie, 2023. "Social Learning for the Green Transition Evidence from a Pesticide Reduction Policy," Working Papers 2023-06, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
    2. Rose Deperrois & Adélaïde Fadhuile & Julie Subervie, 2023. "Social Learning for the Green Transition Evidence from a Pesticide Reduction Policy," Working Papers 2023-06, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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