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Gender gaps in technology diffusion

Ariel BenYishay, Maria Jones, Florence Kondylis and Ahmed Mobarak ()

Journal of Development Economics, 2020, vol. 143, issue C

Abstract: Even with comparable innate ability and performance, women may be subject to discrimination. We run a field experiment across 143 Malawian villages in which either men or women were assigned the task of learning about a new agricultural technology, and then communicating it to others to convince them to adopt. Objective measures of these communicators’ knowledge and adoption of the new technology show no gender gap in their ability to acquire, retain and use the information. Yet, micro-data on individual interactions from 6500 farmers show that other farmers are less willing to learn from female communicators, whom they perceive not to be as good at farming as their male counterparts. In spite of this, other farmers learn just as much about the technology when the communicator role is reserved for women, and they experience similar farm yields.

Keywords: Gender discrimination; Technology adoption; Agriculture; Social networks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2019.102380

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