Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali

69 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2020

See all articles by Jacopo Bonan

Jacopo Bonan

Polytechnic University of Milan - Politecnico di Milano, Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Students; RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment

Pietro Battiston

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali

Jaimie Bleck

University of Notre Dame

Philippe LeMay-Boucher

Heriot-Watt University

Stefano Pareglio

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Bassirou A. Sarr

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Massimo Tavoni

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 30, 2020

Abstract

Easy-to-use and risk-free technologies, which require little investment and potentially provide health and environmental benefits, often have low adoption rates. Using a randomized experiment in urban Mali, we assess the impact of a training session in which information on an improved cookstove (ICS) is provided along with the opportunity to purchase the product at the market price. We find direct and spillover effects from our invitation to the session on ICS ownership and usage. We then randomly assign half of the training participants to receive information on a peer’s actual purchase. Our results indicate that conditional on receiving information, an individual is more likely to adopt the product if informed about a peer they know and who purchased the product. Our sessions have no discernible impact on product knowledge or household welfare. We argue that social interaction, through imitation, can represent an important channel for increasing take-up and diffusion.

Keywords: Technology Adoption, Social Interaction, Imitation Effects, Cookstoves, Mali

JEL Classification: D91, O33, O13, M31

Suggested Citation

Bonan, Jacopo and Battiston, Pietro and Bleck, Jaimie and LeMay-Boucher, Philippe and Pareglio, Stefano and Sarr, Bassirou A. and Tavoni, Massimo, Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali (May 30, 2020). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 442, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3614368

Jacopo Bonan

Polytechnic University of Milan - Politecnico di Milano, Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Students ( email )

Via Lambruschini 4C - building 26/A
Milano, 20156
United States

RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment ( email )

c/o BASE
Via Bergognone 34
Milan, 20144
Italy

Pietro Battiston (Contact Author)

University of Parma - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali ( email )

via Kennedy 6
Parma, 43125
Italy

Jaimie Bleck

University of Notre Dame ( email )

361 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

Philippe LeMay-Boucher

Heriot-Watt University ( email )

Riccarton
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, Scotland EH14 1AS
United Kingdom

Stefano Pareglio

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

Milan, Milan
Italy

Bassirou A. Sarr

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Massimo Tavoni

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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