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

59 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2018

See all articles by Jacopo Bonan

Jacopo Bonan

Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Milan

Pietro Battiston

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali

Jaimie 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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2017

Abstract

We investigate the role of social interaction in technology adoption by conducting a field experiment in urban Mali. We invite women to attend a training session,where information on a more efficient cooking stove is provided along with the opportunity to purchase the product at market price. During that session we randomly assign participants to receive information on a peer’sactual purchase of an improved cookstove.We find that women are more likely to purchase during our intervention and use the product in the following six to nine months if the information they receive is on a peer who purchased the product and whose opinion is respected In general,we find positive direct and spillover effects of attending the session.We then investigate whethers ocial interaction plays a role int he natural diffusion of this technology by putting forward evidence that women who participated in the session and did no tbuy are more likely to later adopt the produc twhe nmore women living around them own it.We investigate the various mechanisms of socia linteraction potentially at play and provide evidence supporting imitation effects, rather than social learning or constraint interaction.

Keywords: TechnologyAdoption, SocialInteraction, Cookstoves, Mali

JEL Classification: D91, O33,O13,M31

Suggested Citation

Bonan, Jacopo and Battiston, Pietro and Bleck, Jaimie 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 (December 2017). Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 431. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3122557 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3122557

Jacopo Bonan (Contact Author)

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

Corso Magenta 63
20123 Milan
Italy

Pietro Battiston

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali ( email )

via Kennedy 6
Parma, 43125
Italy

Jaimie Bleck

University of Notre Dame ( email )

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 08544-0708
United States

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