HKUST IEMS Working Papers No. 2021-78
We run a randomized controlled experiment in which farmers trained on a new rice cultivation method teach two other farmers selected by us. We ﬁnd that the intervention increases yields and farm proﬁts among treated farmers. Teacher-trainees are eﬀective at spreading knowledge and inducing adoption relative to just training. Incentivizing teacher- trainees improves knowledge transmission but not adoption. Matching teacher-trainees with farmers who list them as role models does not improve knowledge transmission and may hurt adoption. Using mediation analysis, we ﬁnd that the knowledge of the teacher-trainee is correlated with that of their students, consistent with knowledge transmission. We also ﬁnd that SRI knowledge predicts adoption of some SRI practices, and that adoption by teacher-trainees predicts adoption by their students, suggesting that students follow the example of their teacher. With cost-beneﬁt estimates of social returns in excess of 100%, explicitly mobilizing peer-to-peer (P2P) transmission of knowledge seems a cost-eﬀective way of inducing the adoption of new proﬁtable agricultural practices.
This version is updated on 27 January 2021 (Hong Kong time).
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