“Can Network Theory-based Targeting Increase Technology Adoption?”

On Wednesday, March 2nd, at 2.30pm, the NOVAFRICA Center welcomes Jeremy Magruder, from the University of California, Berkeley to present his work on theory-driven network targeting approaches and simpler strategies to foster adoption of new agricultural technology.

Lori Beaman
Ariel Ben Yishay
Jeremy Magruder
Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak

In order to induce farmers to adopt a productive new agricultural technology, we apply simple and complex contagion diffusion models on rich social network data from 200 villages in Malawi to identify seed farmers to target and train on the new technology. A randomized controlled trial compares these theory-driven network targeting approaches to simpler strategies that either rely on a government extension worker or an easily measurable proxy for the social network (geographic distance between households) to identify seed farmers. Both reduced form and structural estimates suggest a learning environment in which most farmers need to learn about the technology from multiple people before they adopt themselves.

Please find further information about this seminar here.