Who Cares What Others Think (or Do)? Social Learning and Social Pressures in Cotton Farming in India

20 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2020

Date Written: July 2017

Abstract

This paper examines the role that social networks play in the adoption process of Bacillus thurigiensis (Bt) cotton, a type of genetically engineered cotton that has been available on the Indian market since 2002. Using a unique dataset and empirical methodology, I find that farmers appeared to have exclusively learned from the experimentation of a small set of “progressive” farmers in the village, that is, adoption by other (“regular”) farmers was not considered a useful source of information about the technology. Second, I find evidence of social pressures, originating from the belief that Bt cotton might be hazardous to the environment and livestock, which inhibited adoption, at least for some time.

Keywords: Agricultural technology adoption, India, social learning, social pressures

Suggested Citation

Maertens, Annemie, Who Cares What Others Think (or Do)? Social Learning and Social Pressures in Cotton Farming in India (July 2017). American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 99, Issue 4, pp. 988-1007, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3577045 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajae/aaw098

Annemie Maertens (Contact Author)

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

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