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Does experience sharing affect farmers’ pro-environmental behavior? A randomized controlled trial in Vietnam

Ha Thu Vu, Duc Tran, Daisaku Goto () and Keisuke Kawata

World Development, 2020, vol. 136, issue C

Abstract: Encouraging farmers to adopt pro-environmental production is vital to the promotion of sustainable agriculture. Previous observational studies emphasize the importance of economic incentives and information access to farmers’ decision-making processes; however, due to endogeneity issues, little strong causal evidence is available. This study makes an original contribution by experimentally examining the impacts of the 50% price subsidy and information treatments on farmers’ adoption of organic fertilizer. A short video sharing the experience of farmers who have applied organic fertilizer is selected as our information treatment. We analyze data from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted with 1287 small-scale tea farmers in Vietnam. We find significant impacts of both the information and 50% price subsidy treatments. Moreover, the effect of the former is approximately one-third that of the latter. Subgroup treatment analysis also reveals that the information treatment performs well for members of certification groups. Thus, to induce farmers to adopt pro-environmental production behaviors, information treatment can partially substitute for subsidies to reduce the burden on the public budget.

Keywords: RCT; Information treatment; Subsidy treatment; Pro-environmental behaviors; Asia; Vietnam (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105062

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