DP12070 Can Referral Improve Targeting? Evidence from a Vocational Training Experiment

Author(s): Marcel Fafchamps, Asadul Islam, Abdul Malek, Debayan Pakrashi
Publication Date: May 2017
Keyword(s): agricultural innovation, extension, Social Networks, targeting
JEL(s): D83, O13, O33
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12070

We seek to improve the targeting of vocational training by inviting past trainees to select future trainees from a candidate pool. Some referees are rewarded or incentivized. Training increases the adoption of recommended practices and improves performance on average, but not all trainees adopt. Referred trainees are 3.7% more likely to adopt, but rewarding or incentivizing referees does not improve referral quality. When referees receive financial compensation, average adoption increases and referee and referred are more likely to coordinate their adoption behavior.