Better Technology, Better Plots, or Better Farmers? Identifying Changes in Productivity and Risk Among Malagasy Rice Farmers
Posted: 30 Sep 2004
We introduce a method for properly attributing observed productivity and risk changes among new production methods, farmers, and plots by controlling for farmer and plot heterogeneity. Results from Madagascar show that the new system of rice intensification (SRI) is indeed a superior technology. Although about half of the observed productivity gains appear due to farmer characteristics rather than SRI itself, the technology generates the estimated average output gains of more than 84%. The increased estimated yield risk associated with SRI would nonetheless make it unattractive to many farmers within the standard range of relative risk aversion.
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