Technological adoption in rural Cochabamba, Bolivia

Ricardo Godoy, Jonathan Morduch, David Bravo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A survey of about one thousand smallholder households in the Department of Cochabamba, Bolivia, is used to examine the determinants of adoption of new farm technologies. A historical analysis shows that government policies since colonial days have made it difficult for smallholders to accumulate assets and improve farm productivity. The survey is used to identify the ecological and socioeconomic determinants of the adoption of chemical fertilizers and pesticides among smallholders in four altitude zones: highlands, high valleys, low valleys, and tropics. Ecological zone did not prove to be a statistically significant determinant of adoption in the pooled sample. Within any one altitude zone, no determinant predicted the adoption of both technologies. Standard determinants of adoption in other countries (e.g., education, income, land tenure) did not explain adoption across zones or for either of the two technologies. The conclusion contains a discussion of the role of history in adoption and the possible consequences of adoption for smallholders and Bolivia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-371
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Anthropological Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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