Social interaction and technology adoption: Experimental evidence from improved cookstoves in Mali

Social interaction and technology adoption: Experimental evidence from improved cookstoves in Mali

Bonan J., Battiston P., Bleck J., LeMay-Boucher P., Pareglio S., Sarr B., Tavoni M., (2021), Social interaction and technology adoption: Experimental evidence from improved cookstoves in Mali, World Development, Volume 144, August 2021, 105467, DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2021.105467, webpage

Abstract

Easy-to-use and low-risk technologies, which require little investment and potentially provide health and environmental benefits, often have low adoption rates. Using a randomized experiment in urban Mali, we assess the impact of a training session in which information on an improved cookstove (ICS) is provided along with the opportunity to purchase the product at the market price. We find strong effects from our invitation to the session on ICS ownership and usage while no discernible effects on product knowledge or household welfare. We find that some diffusion occurs beyond the intervention and provide evidence on the role of social interaction, mostly through imitation

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