Economics at your fingertips  

The effects of risk and ambiguity aversion on technology adoption: Evidence from aquaculture in Ghana

Christian Crentsil, Adelina Gschwandtner and Zaki Wahhaj

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2020, vol. 179, issue C, 46-68

Abstract: Small-scale farmers in developing countries frequently make production decisions in situations of uncertainty. There is growing evidence that ambiguity - and not just risk - affects farming decisions, limiting the adoption of new farming practices and technologies. We study the adoption of three new technologies, designed to be risk-reducing, among smallholder aquafarmers in Ghana. We conduct a set of field experiments designed to elicit farmers’ risk and ambiguity preferences and combine it with survey-based information on their technology adoption decisions. We find, as expected, that aquafarmers who are more risk-averse are quicker to adopt the new technologies but ambiguity aversion has no effect on the adoption of two out of the three technologies (a fast-growing breed of tilapia fish, and extruded feed). Ambiguity-averse farmers are slower to adopt the third technology which entails large fixed costs (floating cages), but its effect is diminishing in the number of prior adopters in the village. We argue that the evidence highlights the specific situations in which ambiguity is an impediment to technology adoption: when large fixed costs prevent small-scale experimentation, and there are limited sources of information available to potential adopters.

Keywords: Uncertainty aversion; Risk aversion; Aquafarming; Technology adoption; Extruded Ffeed; Floating Ccages; Akosombo strain of Tilapia (AST) (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 D81 O33 Q12 Q16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: The Effects of Risk and Ambiguity Aversion on Technology Adoption: Evidence from Aquaculture in Ghana (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effects of Risk and Ambiguity Aversion on Technology Adoption: Evidence from Aquaculture in Ghana (2018) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2020.07.035

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

More articles in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Nithya Sathishkumar ().

Page updated 2021-03-28
Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:179:y:2020:i:c:p:46-68