Access to Information, Technology Adoption and Productivity: Large-scale Evidence from Agriculture in India

65 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2019 Last revised: 14 Oct 2020

See all articles by Apoorv Gupta

Apoorv Gupta

Dartmouth College

Jacopo Ponticelli

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; NBER

Andrea Tesei

Queen Mary University of London - School of Economics and Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 12, 2020

Abstract

We present large-scale evidence on the effects of access to information on agricultural technology adoption and crop yields in India. We combine geo-referenced data on the construction of new mobile phone towers with data on the location and content of 2.5 million phone calls made by farmers to a leading call center for agricultural advice. Exploiting language barriers between farmers and call center advisors, we show that while the expansion of the mobile phone network may lead to a long-term modernization of agriculture and increased productivity, this only happens in areas where farmers can access agricultural advice over the phone.

Keywords: Mobile phones, languages, agriculture, HYV Seeds, KCC, phone towers.

JEL Classification: G21, Q16, E51

Suggested Citation

Gupta, Apoorv and Ponticelli, Jacopo and Tesei, Andrea, Access to Information, Technology Adoption and Productivity: Large-scale Evidence from Agriculture in India (October 12, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3335542 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3335542

Apoorv Gupta

Dartmouth College ( email )

Department of Sociology
Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Jacopo Ponticelli (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2211 Campus Dr
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/ponticelli/index.html

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
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Andrea Tesei

Queen Mary University of London - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

Lincoln's Inn Fields
Mile End Rd.
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://andreatesei.com

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