Endogenous Information Sharing and the Gains from Using Network Information to Maximize Technology Adoption

61 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019

See all articles by Alain de Janvry

Alain de Janvry

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy

Kyle Emerick

University of California, Berkeley

Erin Kelley

World Bank - Development Research Group

Elisabeth Sadoulet

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy

Date Written: February 2019

Abstract

Can agents in a social network be induced to obtain information from outside their peer groups? Using a field experiment in rural Bangladesh, we show that demonstration plots in agriculture - a technique where the first users of a new variety cultivate it in a side-by-side comparison with an existing variety - facilitate social learning by inducing conversations and information sharing outside of existing social networks. We compare these improvements in learning with those from seeding new technology with more central farmers in village social networks. The demonstration plots - when cultivated by randomly selected farmers - improve knowledge by just as much as seeding with more central farmers. Moreover, the demonstration plots only induce conversations and facilitate learning for farmers that were unconnected to entry points at baseline. Finally, we combine this diffusion experiment with an impact experiment to show that both demonstration plots and improved seeding transmit information to farmers that are less likely to benefit from the new innovation.

Keywords: agriculture, Social learning, Technology adoption

Suggested Citation

de Janvry, Alain and Emerick, Kyle and Kelley, Erin and Sadoulet, Elisabeth, Endogenous Information Sharing and the Gains from Using Network Information to Maximize Technology Adoption (February 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13507, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3332310

Alain De Janvry (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy ( email )

2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
United States

Kyle Emerick

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Erin Kelley

World Bank - Development Research Group ( email )

Washington, DC 20433
United States

Elisabeth Sadoulet

University of California, Berkeley - The Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy ( email )

2607 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320
United States

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