Receptiveness to Advice, Cognitive Ability, and Technology Adoption

58 Pages Posted: 8 May 2015 Last revised: 8 Dec 2017

See all articles by Bradford L. Barham

Bradford L. Barham

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics

Jean-Paul Chavas

University of Wisconsin

Dylan Fitz

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics

Laura Schechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics; University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics

Date Written: December 7, 2017

Abstract

We construct a model of technology adoption with agents differing on two dimensions: their cognitive ability and their receptiveness to advice. While cognitive ability unambiguously speeds adoption, receptiveness to advice may speed adoption for individuals with low cognitive ability, but slow adoption for individuals with high cognitive ability. We conduct economic experiments measuring US farmers' cognitive ability and receptiveness to advice and examine how these characteristics impact their speed of adoption of genetically modified (GM) corn seeds. The empirical analysis shows that early adopters are those who are both quite able cognitively and not receptive to advice.

Keywords: technology adoption, learning, responsiveness to advice, receptiveness to advice, advice taking, cognitive ability, economic experiments, genetically modified (GM) seeds

JEL Classification: D22, D83, O33

Suggested Citation

Barham, Bradford L. and Chavas, Jean-Paul and Fitz, Dylan and Schechter, Laura, Receptiveness to Advice, Cognitive Ability, and Technology Adoption (December 7, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2603484 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2603484

Bradford L. Barham

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics ( email )

427 Lorch St.
Madison, WI 53706-1503
United States

Jean-Paul Chavas

University of Wisconsin ( email )

Taylor Hall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
(608) 261-1944 (Phone)
(608) 262-4376 (Fax)

Dylan Fitz

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Agricultural & Applied Economics ( email )

427 Lorch St.
Madison, WI 53706-1503
United States

Laura Schechter (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

427 Lorch St.
Madison, WI 53706-1503
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

University of Wisconsin at Madison - Economics ( email )

William H. Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

HOME PAGE: http://aae.wisc.edu/lschechter

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