Agricultural Technology Choice and Transport

Rubba Ali, A. Federico Barra, Claudia N. Berg, Richard Damania, John D. Nash, Jason Russ. (2015) “Agricultural Technology Choice and Transport.” Policy Research Working Paper, no. 7272. [doi]


This paper addresses an old and recurring theme in development economics: the slow adoption of new technologies by farmers in many developing countries. The paper explores a somewhat novel link to explain this puzzle—the link between market access and the incentives to adopt a new technology when there are non-convexities. … Consistent with the theory, analysis finds that transportation costs are critical in determining technology choices, with a greater responsiveness among farmers who adopt modern technologies, and at times a perverse (negative) response to lower transport costs among those who employ more traditional techniques. In sum, the paper presents compelling evidence that the constraints to the adoption of modern technologies and access to markets are interconnected, and so should be targeted jointly.

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