Can Network Theory-Based Targeting Increase Technology Adoption?
Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak
- American Economic Review (Forthcoming)
Can targeting information to network-central farmers induce more adoption of a new agricultural technology? By combining social network data and a field experiment in 200 villages in Malawi, we find that targeting central farmers is important to spur the diffusion process. We also provide evidence of one explanation for why centrality matters: a diffusion process governed by complex contagion. Our results are consistent with a model in which many farmers need to learn from multiple people before they adopt themselves. This means that without proper targeting of information, the diffusion process can stall and technology adoption remains perpetually low.
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