Can network theory-based targeting increase technology adoption?

Lori Beaman, Ariel BenYishay, Jeremy Magruder, Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Can targeting information to network-central farmers induce more adoption of a new agricultural technology? By combining social network data and a field experiment in 200 villages in Malawi, we find that targeting central farmers is important to spur the diffusion process. We also provide evidence of one explanation for why centrality matters: a diffusion process governed by complex contagion. Our results are consistent with a model in which many farmers need to learn from multiple people before they adopt themselves. This means that without proper targeting of information, the diffusion process can stall and technology adoption remains perpetually low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1918-1943
Number of pages26
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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