It takes two: Experimental evidence on the determinants of technology diffusion

Morgan Hardy, Jamie McCasland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper reports on an experiment that brings insights from the literature on demand-side determinants of technology adoption to the study of peer-to-peer diffusion. We develop a custom weaving technique and randomly seed training into a real network of garment making firm owners in Ghana. Training leads to limited adoption among trainees, but little to no diffusion to non-trainees. In a second phase, we cross-randomize demand for the technique. Demand shocks increase adoption of the technology in both groups and diffusion to untrained firms, generated by a pattern in which trained firm owners teach approximately 400% more of their peers if they are randomly assigned to the demand intervention. We find no evidence that our main effects are driven by differences in ability (learning-by-doing) or other adoption-based mechanisms. Rather, our findings are most consistent with the demand intervention generating differential willingness to diffuse among potential teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102600
JournalJournal of Development Economics
Volume149
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Demand
  • Diffusion
  • Firms
  • Networks
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

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