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THE PATH OF TECHNOLOGY DIFFUSION: WHICH NEIGHBORS TO LEARN FROM?

Authors

  • Xiaobo Zhang,

    1. Zhang: International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006. E-mail x.zhang@cgiar.org
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  • Shenggen Fan,

    1. Fan: Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006. E-mail S.Fan@cgiar.org
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  • Ximing Cai

    1. Cai: Postdoctoral Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006. E-mail X.Cai@cgiar.org
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      This is a revised version of a paper presented in a session at the Western Economic Association Interna-tional 75th Annual Conference organized by Jack Hou, Vancouver, June 29-July 3. The authors are grateful for the comments and suggestions made by the session par-ticipants and anonymous referees.


Abstract

This study uses a panel data set of 25 years over 280 districts in rural India and applies a geographic information systems (GIS) program to investigate the regional neighborhood effect on the rate of diffusion of new technologies. The results show that in the technology diffusion process, the early successful adopters have a larger effect on neighboring adopters than do the early unsuccessful adopters. Hence, use of the aggregate or the simple average of adoption rate among neighborhoods as a proxy for the neighborhood effect, a common practice in the learning literature, may be inappropriate. We also find that education and irrigation play important roles in facilitating technology diffusion.

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