NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Ariel BenYishay

Economics Department
College of William & Mary
Williamsburg VA 23185

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2014Social Learning and Communication
with A. Mushfiq Mobarak: w20139
Low adoption of agricultural technologies holds large productivity consequences for developing countries. Agricultural extension services counter information failures by deploying external agents to communicate with farmers. However, social networks are recognized as the most credible source of information about new technologies. We incorporate social learning in extension policy using a large-scale field experiment in which we communicate to farmers using different members of social networks. We show that communicator effort is susceptible to small performance incentives, and the social identity of the communicator influences learning and adoption. Farmers find communicators who face agricultural conditions and constraints most comparable to themselves to be the most persuasive. Inco...
 
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