The Role of Trust in Knowledge Acquisition, Technology Adoption and Access to Bank Loans: Results from Field Experiments in the Ecuadorian Amazon

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Date

2006-04-24

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Virginia Tech

Abstract

Ecuadorian farmers do not play the investment game (Berg 1995) the same with community farmers as they do with agricultural technicians. Women exhibit a preference for trust in agricultural technicians (vertical trust). Using experimental and survey data from 191 farmers we examine factors associated with 1) farmer trust in community farmers, 2) farmer trust in agricultural technicians, and 3) differences between levels of trust in agricultural technicians and community farmers. Then we explore how our measures of trust correlate with pesticide knowledge and purchase of pesticide safety equipment; in addition, we consider how our measures of trust correlate with accessing bank loans. Farmers who place more trust in community farmers score lower on our pesticide knowledge exam and they are less likely to adopt our pesticide safety equipment technology. We find that farmers who exhibit a preference for trusting agricultural technicians score higher on our pesticide knowledge exam; they are also more likely to report having accessed a bank loan.

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Keywords

Credit Access, Technology Adoption, Knowledge Acquisition, Trust, Field Experiments

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