Intrahousehold Preference Heterogeneity and Demand for Labor-Saving Agricultural Technology: The Case of Mechanical Rice Transplanting in India

IFPRI Discussion Paper 1880

72 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2019

See all articles by Kajal Gulati

Kajal Gulati

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Patrick S. Ward

Duke Kunshan University

Travis J. Lybbert

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: October 30, 2019

Abstract

Evaluations of agricultural technologies rarely consider how adoption may alter the labor allocation of different household members. We examine intrahousehold decision-making dynamics that shape smallholder agricultural households' decision to hire in mechanical rice transplanting (MRT), a technology that reduces demand for labor. To study the adoption decision, we employ an experimental approach to estimating the willingness-to-pay for MRT services, both at the level of individual men and women within the same households, as well as at the overall household level. We find that women value MRT more than men, but this difference in valuation is not driven by differences in their individual characteristics, but primarily by differences in preferences. Although women value MRT more than men, they have less influence over the ultimate technology adoption decision. In households with women working as outside hired laborers, the intrahousehold differences in MRT valuation disappear, suggesting that women value MRT as a means of reallocating on-farm labor to other unpaid family work. Labor-saving mechanization, such as MRT, may have important implications for rural labor markets and on the (gendered) division of labor within agricultural households.

Keywords: demand; labour productivity; labour saving technologies; technology; agriculture; Oryza; rice; transplanting; gender; allocation; labour; labour allocation; mechanization

Suggested Citation

Gulati, Kajal and Ward, Patrick S. and Lybbert, Travis J. and Spielman, David J., Intrahousehold Preference Heterogeneity and Demand for Labor-Saving Agricultural Technology: The Case of Mechanical Rice Transplanting in India (October 30, 2019). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1880, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3479219

Kajal Gulati (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Patrick S. Ward

Duke Kunshan University ( email )

No. 8 Duke Avenue
Kunshan, Jiangsu 215316
China

Travis J. Lybbert

University of California, Davis - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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