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Learning about Oneself: Technology Financing in a Tamil Fishing

Author

Listed:
  • Xavier Gine

    () (DECRG The World Bank)

  • Stefan Klonner

Abstract

We study adoption of a costly new technology when the profitability of the new technique differs over individuals and there is uncertainty about these individual-specific differences. We establish that such individual-specific uncertainty results in a financing constraint when debt contracts are characterized by limited liability and limited commitment on the side of the borrower. In data from a Tamil coastal village, in which a new fishing boat became available in 2001, we find significant evidence for individual-specific uncertainty about the profitability of the new technology. Results suggest that this uncertainty reduces the amount of external finance available for the technology switch by 20 percent. The resulting need for complementary self-finance creates a wealth threshold, below which adoption, even if profitable, is not feasible. Kuznets-type inequality dynamics result on the middle run.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Gine & Stefan Klonner, 2006. "Learning about Oneself: Technology Financing in a Tamil Fishing," 2006 Meeting Papers 524, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:524
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    File URL: http://www.arts.cornell.edu/econ/sklonner/fish.pdf
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    File URL: http://repec.org/sed2006/up.5212.1139978553.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1993. "Modeling Technology Adoption in Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 396-402, May.
    3. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
    4. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    5. Basu, Kaushik, 1992. "Limited liability and the existence of share tenancy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 203-220, January.
    6. Hanan G. Jacoby & Guo Li & Scott Rozelle, 2002. "Hazards of Expropriation: Tenure Insecurity and Investment in Rural China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1420-1447, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Shaban, Radwan Ali, 1987. "Testing between Competing Models of Sharecropping," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 893-920, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Drugov, Mikhail & Macchiavello, Rocco, 2008. "Learning and Microlending," CEPR Discussion Papers 7011, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Learning; Competition; Credit Constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing

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