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Learning from unincentivized and incentivized communication: a randomized controlled trial in India

Alem, Yonas and Dugoua, Eugenie ORCID: 0000-0002-4176-8740 (2021) Learning from unincentivized and incentivized communication: a randomized controlled trial in India. Economic Development and Cultural Change. ISSN 0013-0079

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Identification Number: 10.1086/714115

Abstract

Interactions among peers of the same social network play significant roles in facilitating the adoption and diffusion of modern technologies in poor communities. We conduct a large-scale randomized controlled trial in rural India to identify the impact of information from friends on willingness to pay (WTP) for high-quality and multi-purpose solar lanterns. We offered solar lanterns to seed households from 200 non-electrified villages and randomly assigned three of their friends to two communication treatments (unincentivized and incentivized) that led to different exposure to their seed friend. We also introduce a second treatment to investigate whether the seed’s gender impacts the magnitude of peer effects. We show that unincentivized communication increases WTP for solar lanterns by 90% and incentivized communication by 145%, but gender doesn’t seem to matter. We also show that learning from others is the mechanism that drives the increase in WTP. Our findings have significant implications for policies that aim at promoting the diffusion of new technologies in developing countries. JEL: O33, D83, Q21, Q42 Keywords: Technology Adoption; Peer Effects; Information Flow; Solar Lante

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/journal/edcc
Additional Information: © 2021 University of Chicago Press
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: T Technology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development > O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D83 - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q2 - Renewable Resources and Conservation > Q21 - Demand and Supply
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q4 - Energy > Q42 - Alternative Energy Sources
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2021 08:51
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2021 23:17
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/110858

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