NERA Economic Consulting
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2015||Technology Adoption Under Uncertainty: Take-Up and Subsequent Investment in Zambia|
with B. Kelsey Jack, Paulina Oliva, Christopher Severen, Samuel Bell: w21414
Many technology adoption decisions are made under uncertainty about the costs or benefits of subsequent investments in the technology after the initial take-up. As new information is realized, agents may prefer to abandon a technology that appeared profitable at the time of take-up. Low rates of follow-through (engagement in subsequent investments) are particularly problematic when subsidies are used to increase adoption, in part because they may attract users with a lower value for the technology. We use a field experiment with two stages of randomization to generate exogenous variation in the payoffs associated with taking up and following through with a new technology: a tree species that provides private fertilizer benefits to adopting farmers. Our empirical results show high rates of ...