Communicating with Farmers Through Social Networks

61 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2013

See all articles by Ariel BenYishay

Ariel BenYishay

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics

Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak

Yale School of Management; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Date Written: August 1, 2013

Abstract

Low adoption of productive agricultural technologies is a puzzle. Agricultural extension services rely on external agents to communicate with farmers, although social networks are known to be the most credible source of information about new technologies. We conduct a large-scale field experiment on communication strategies in which extension workers are partnered with different members of social networks. We show that communicator actions and effort are susceptible to small performance incentives, and adoption rates vary by communicator type. Communicators who face conditions most comparable to target farmers are the most persuasive. Incorporating communication dynamics can enrich the literature on social learning.

Keywords: Social learning, Agriculture, Technology Adoption, Malawi

JEL Classification: O33, O13, Q16

Suggested Citation

BenYishay, Ariel and Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, Communicating with Farmers Through Social Networks (August 1, 2013). Yale University Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper No. 1030; Yale Economics Department Working Paper No. 121. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2315229

Ariel BenYishay (Contact Author)

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics ( email )

Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
203-432-5787 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mba.yale.edu/faculty/profiles/mobarak.shtml

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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