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American Economic Review: Vol. 100 No. 1 (March 2010)

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Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana

Article Citation

Conley, Timothy G., and Christopher R. Udry. 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana." American Economic Review, 100(1): 35-69.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.1.35

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of social learning in the diffusion of a new agricultural technology in Ghana. We use unique data on farmers' communication patterns to define each individual's information neighborhood. Conditional on many potentially confounding variables, we find evidence that farmers adjust their inputs to align with those of their information neighbors who were surprisingly successful in previous periods. The relationship of these input adjustments to experience further indicates the presence of social learning. In addition, applying the same method to input choices for another crop, of known technology, correctly indicates an absence of social learning effects. (JEL D83, O13, O33, Q16)

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Authors

Conley, Timothy G. (U Chicago)
Udry, Christopher R. (Yale U)

JEL Classifications

D83: Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
O13: Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
O33: Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
Q16: Agricultural R&D; Agricultural Technology; Agricultural Extension Services


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