Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali
59 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2018
Date Written: December 2017
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: Suggested Citation