NOVAFRICA Seminar: “Spillovers without Social Interactions in Urban Sanitation”

On Wednesday, February 27, at 2.30 pm, the NOVAFRICA Center welcomes Laura Schechter, from the University of Wisconsin, to present her work on Spillovers without Social Interactions in Urban Sanitation.

Laura Schechter, University of Wisconsin


While there is substantial evidence that social network effects are important in encouraging technology adoption in rural environments, there is little evidence on these mechanisms in urban environments. We conduct a randomized controlled trial with 4000 households in urban Dakar to study four mechanisms which might explain spillovers which increase adoption of mechanized desludging in an urban environment: social pressure, reciprocity, learning from others, and increasing returns. We do not find evidence of social pressure, reciprocity, or learning from others. We do find evidence suggestive of increasing returns to scale: as more neighbors adopt more sanitary technologies, it seems to become more worthwhile for other households to adopt as well.

Find more about this seminar here.