Information Networks Among Women and Men and the Demand for an Agricultural Technology in India

32 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2015

See all articles by Nicholas Magnan

Nicholas Magnan

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Kajal Gulati

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Travis J. Lybbert

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Date Written: January 30, 2015

Abstract

Although there is ample evidence of differences in how and where men and women acquire information, most research on learning and household decisionmaking only considers access to information for a single, typically male, household head. This assumption may be problematic in developing-country agriculture, where women play a fundamental role in farming. Using gender-disaggregated social network data from Uttar Pradesh, India, we analyze agricultural information networks among men and women. We test for gender-specific network effects on demand for laser land leveling - a resource-conserving technology - using data from a field experiment that combines a Becker-DeGroot-Marschak (BDM) auction with a lottery. We find that factors determining male and female links are similar, although there is little overlap between male and female networks. We find some evidence of female network effects on household technology demand, although male network effects are clearly stronger. Public and private efforts to promote technological change in smallholder agriculture often rely on social networks to transmit information across large numbers of farmers. Our results indicate that extension services can leverage female networks in order to reach more households when promoting new technologies.

Keywords: social network analysis, peer effects, technology adoption, learning externalities, India

JEL Classification: D80, Q12, Q16

Suggested Citation

Magnan, Nicholas and Spielman, David J. and Gulati, Kajal and Lybbert, Travis J., Information Networks Among Women and Men and the Demand for an Agricultural Technology in India (January 30, 2015). IFPRI Discussion Paper 01411, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2564538 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2564538

Nicholas Magnan (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Kajal Gulati

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Travis J. Lybbert

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

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