DP9539 Neighbours and Extension Agents in Ethiopia: Who matters more for technology diffusion?

Author(s): Pramila Krishnan, Manasa Patnam
Publication Date: July 2013
Keyword(s): diffusion, social learning, social networks
JEL(s): C31, Q16
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9539

The increased adoption of fertiliser and improved seeds are key to raising land productivity in Ethiopian agriculture. However, as in much of sub-Saharan Africa, the adoption and diffusion of such technologies has been slow. We use data from the Ethiopia between 1999-2009 to examine the role of learning from extension agents versus neighbours for both improved seeds and fertiliser. We use the structure of spatial networks of farmers and panel data to identify these influences and find that while the initial impact of extension agents was high, the effect wore off, in contrast to learning from neighbours.