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Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali

Jacopo Bonan (), Pietro Battiston (), Jaimie Bleck, Philippe LeMay Boucher, Stefano Pareglio (), Bassirou Sarr and Massimo Tavoni ()
Additional contact information
Jaimie Bleck: University of Notre Dame, USA
Philippe LeMay Boucher: Heriot Watt University, UK
Bassirou Sarr: Paris School of Economics, France

No 431, Development Working Papers from Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano

Abstract: We investigate the role of social interaction in technology adoption by conducting a field experiment in urban Mali. We invite women to attend a training session, where information on a more efficient cooking stove is provided along with the opportuinity to purchase the product at market price. During that session we randomly assign participants to receive information on a peer's actual purchase of an improved cookstove. We find that women are more likely to purchase during our intervention and use the product in the following six to nine months if the information they receive is on a peer who purchased the product and whose opinion is respected. In general, we find positive direct and spillover effects on attending the session. We then investigate whether social interaction plays a role in the natural diffusion of this technology by putting forward evidence that women who participated in the session and did not buy are more likely to later adopt the product when more women living around them own it. We investigate the various mechanisms of social interaction potentially at play and provide evidence supporting imitation effects, rather than social learning or constraint interaction.

Keywords: Technology Adoption; Social Interaction Cookstoves; Mali (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 O33 O13 M31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp, nep-pay and nep-soc
Date: 2018-01-29, Revised 2018-01-29
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Working Paper: Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali (2017) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:csl:devewp:431

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