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The Role of Social Capital in the Adoption of Firewood Efficient Stoves in the Northern Peruvian Andes

  • Agurto Adrianzen, Marcos

This paper explores rural households’ adoption of a new cooking technology in the Northern Peruvian Andes. It exploits a development intervention which distributed and installed, at no cost, firewood efficient stoves in the rural communities of Chalaco District. Using first hand data, collected from the beneficiary villages, this research investigates how village technology adoption patterns and village social capital mutually interact and influence the individual household’s adoption decision. The results in this paper indicate that the effect of village adoption patterns on the household’s adoption decision is significantly higher in villages with stronger social capital and that the marginal impact of social capital may be negative if village success in adoption is relatively low. It is also shown that only the proportion of adopters that did not experience problems with their own stoves has a positive impact on individual household adoption through its interaction with social capital, while the reverse is true for the village proportion of adopters experiencing problems with the new cooking technology. In this study measures of social capital were collected prior to the intervention; therefore, reverse causality should not be a critical issue in identifying the effects of this social variable. Village unobservable factors are not likely to drive the observed patterns in the data; this paper also shows that village success in adoption has a negative effect on the decision to uninstall the stove among beneficiary non users and that this effect is also increasing in village social capital. The results point to the importance of village social structures in the success of development interventions.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15918.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15918
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  1. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N., 2007. "Identification of binary choice models with social interactions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 52-75, September.
  2. Jonathan Isham, 2002. "The Effect of Social Capital on Fertiliser Adoption: Evidence from Rural Tanzania," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(1), pages 39-60, March.
  3. Narayan, Deepa & Pritchett, Lant, 1997. "Cents and sociability : household income and social capital in rural Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1796, The World Bank.
  4. Partha Dasgupta, 2005. "Economics of Social Capital," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(s1), pages S2-S21, 08.
  5. 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.
  6. Chen, Le & Heerink, Nico & van den Berg, Marrit, 2006. "Energy consumption in rural China: A household model for three villages in Jiangxi Province," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 407-420, June.
  7. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2000. "Learning About a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," Working Papers 817, Economic Growth Center, Yale University, revised May 2004.
  8. Steven N. Durlauf, 2002. "On the Empirics of Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 459-479, November.
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