Three Essays on Adoption and Impact of Agricultural Technology in Bangladesh
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New agricultural technologies can improve productivity to meet the increased demand for food that places pressure on agricultural production systems in developing countries. Because technological innovation is one of major factors shaping agriculture in both developing and developed countries, it is important to identify factors that help or that hinder the adoption process. Adoption analysis can assist policy makers in making informed decisions about dissemination of technologies that are under consideration. It is also important to estimate the impact of a technology. This dissertation contains three essays that estimate factors affecting integrated pest management (IPM) adoption and the impact of IPM on sweet gourd farming in Bangladesh. The first essay estimates factors that affect the timing of IPM adoption in Bangladesh. It employs duration models, fully parametric and semiparametric, and (i) compares results from different estimation methods to provide the best model for the data, and (ii) identifies factors that affect the length of time before Bangladeshi farmers adopt an agricultural technology. The paper provides two conclusions: 1) even though the non-parametric estimate of the hazard function indicated a non-monotone model such as log-normal or log-logistic, no differences are found in the sign and significance of the estimated coefficients between the non-monotone and monotone models. 2) economic factors do not directly influence the adoption decision but rather factors related to information diffusion and farmer's non-economic characteristics such as age and education. Particularly, farmer's age and education, membership in an association, training, distance of the farmer's house from local and town markets, and farmer's perception about the use of IPM affect the length of time to adoption. Farm size is the only variable closely related to economic factors that is found to be significant and it decreases the length of time to adoption. The second paper measures Bangladeshi farmers' attitudes toward risk and ambiguity using experimental data. In different sessions, the experiment allows farmers to make decisions alone and communicate with peers in groups of 3 and 6 to see how social exchanges among peers affect attitudes toward uncertainty. Combining the measured attributes to household survey data, the paper investigates the factors affecting those attributes as well as the role of risk aversion and ambiguity aversion in technology choice by farmers who: face uncertainty alone, in a group of 3, or in a group of 6. It finds that Bangladeshi farmers in the sample are mostly risk and ambiguity averse. Their risk and ambiguity aversion, moreover, differ when they face the uncertain prospects alone from when they can communicate with other peer farmers before making decisions. In addition, farmer's demographic characteristics affect both risk and ambiguity aversion. Finally, findings suggest that the roles of risk and ambiguity aversion in technology adoption depend on which measure of uncertainty behavior is incorporated in the adoption model. While risk aversion increases the likelihood of technology adoption when farmers face uncertainty alone, only ambiguity aversion matters and it reduces the likelihood of technology adoption when farmers face uncertainty in groups of three. Neither risk aversion nor ambiguity aversion matter when farmers face uncertainty in groups of six. The third paper presents an impact assessment of integrated pest management on sweet gourd in Bangladesh. It employs an instrumental variable and marginal treatment effects approach to estimate the impact of IPM on yield and cost of sweet gourd in Bangladesh. The estimation methods consider both homogeneous and heterogeneous treatment effects. The paper finds that IPM adoption has a 7% - 34% yield advantage over traditional pest management practices. Results regarding the effect of IPM adoption on cost are mixed. IPM adoption alters production costs from -1.2% cost to +42%, depending on the estimation method employed. However, most of the cost changes are not statistically significant. Therefore, while we confidently argue that the IPM adoption provides a yield advantage over non-adoption, we do not find a robust effect regarding a cost advantage of adoption.
- Doctoral Dissertations