Technology Adoption When Risk Attitudes Matter: Evidence from Incentivized Field Experiments in Niger

Fertilizer micro-dosing is a precision fertilizer application technique with the potential to improve agricultural productivity and livelihoods in the semi- arid-tropics. Despite more than two decades of disseminating the technology in Niger, micro-dosing adoption rates remain low with evidence of dis-adoption. Since fertilizer is a risk increasing technology, this paper estimates the effects of risk attitudes on fertilizer use and the practice of micro-dosing. We use different methods to elicit measures of risk aversion and supplement those with measures of aversion to ambiguity and loss. We find that incentivized measures of risk attitudes have better predictive power than general measures based on hypothetical survey questions. Among the risk attitudes explored, risk aversion tends to matter in the decision to use fertilizer and in the choice of an application technique when fertilizer is used. This indicates that ex post programs like insurance could promote the use of fertilizer and fertilizer micro-dosing among risk averse farmers.


Issue Date:
2015
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/205813
Total Pages:
47




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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