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Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali

69 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2017  

Jacopo Bonan

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Milan

Pietro Battiston

Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, LEM

Jamie Bleck

University of Notre Dame

Philippe LeMay-Boucher

Heriot-Watt University

Stefano Pareglio

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Bassirou A. Sarr

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Massimo Tavoni

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM); Princeton University - Princeton Environmental Institute

Date Written: September 18, 2017

Abstract

We investigate the role of social interaction in technology adoption by conducting a field experiment in neighborhoods of Bamako. We invited women to attend a training/marketing session, where information on a more efficient cooking stove was provided and the chance to purchase the product at market price was offered. We randomly provided an information nudge on a peer’s willingness to buy an improved cookstove. We find that women purchase and use the product more when they receive information on a peer who purchased (or previously owned) the product, particularly if she is viewed as respected. In general, we find positive direct and spillover effects of attending the session. We also investigate whether social interaction plays a role in technology diffusion. We find that women who participated in the session, but did not buy during the intervention, are more likely to adopt the product when more women living around them own it. We investigate the mechanisms and provide evidence supporting imitation effects, rather than social learning or constraint interaction.

Keywords: Technology Adoption, Social Interaction, Cookstoves, Mali

JEL Classification: D03, M31, O13, O33

Suggested Citation

Bonan, Jacopo and Battiston, Pietro and Bleck, Jamie and LeMay-Boucher, Philippe and Pareglio, Stefano and Sarr, Bassirou A. and Tavoni, Massimo, Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali (September 18, 2017). FEEM Working Paper No. 47.2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3038706

Jacopo Bonan (Contact Author)

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Milan ( email )

Corso Magenta 63
20123 Milan
Italy

Pietro Battiston

Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, LEM ( email )

Piazza Martiri della Liberta', 33
Pisa, I-56127
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://pietrobattiston.it/economics

Jamie Bleck

University of Notre Dame ( email )

361 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN New South Wales 46556-5646
United States

Philippe LeMay-Boucher

Heriot-Watt University ( email )

Riccarton
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland EH14 1AS
United Kingdom

Stefano Pareglio

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

Milan, Milan
Italy

Bassirou A. Sarr

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Massimo Tavoni

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) ( email )

Corso Magenta 63
20123 Milan
Italy

Princeton University - Princeton Environmental Institute

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States

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