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Low adoption of productive agricultural technologies is a puzzle. Agricultural extension services rely on external agents tocommunicate with farmers, although social networks are known to be the most credible source of information about newtechnologies. We conduct a large-scale field experiment on communication strategies in which extension workers arepartnered with different members of social networks. We show that communicator actions and effort are susceptible tosmall performance incentives, and adoption rates vary by communicator type. Communicators who face conditions mostcomparable to target farmers are the most persuasive. Incorporating communication dynamics can enrich the literatureon social learning.

Keywords: O33 ; O13 ; Q16

Subject(s): Environmental Economics and Policy

International Development


Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies


Issue Date: 2013-08

Publication Type: Working or Discussion Paper

PURL Identifier:

Total Pages: 61

JEL Codes: social learning; agriculture; technology adoption; Malawi

Series Statement: Economic Growth Center Discussion Paper


Record appears in: Yale University > Economic Growth Center > Center Discussion Papers

Autor: BenYishay, Ariel ; Mobarak, A. Mushfiq


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