Technology and Innovation in the Agricultural Sector –
Theoretical and Empirical Approaches
Prof. Johannes Sauer und David Wuepper, Technical University Munich
Venue: Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan (WZW), Technische Universität München
Technological differences explain most of the income differences worldwide (Acemoglu 2009). This is also true for the agricultural sector (Self and Grabowski 2007). Therefore, the aim of the course is an understanding of the theoretical concepts and empirical methods that are used to analyze the determinants and effects of innovation and technological change in the agricultural sector.
A major interest is thus, what determines the diffusion of innovations (Feder et al. 1985, Feder and Umali 1993, Foster and Rosenzweig 2010) and what are the effects (Dercon et al. 2009, Conley and Udry 2010, Foster and Rosenzweig 2010, Di Falco et al. 2011, Suri 2011).
There are numerous empirical studies, theoretical models and econometric-statistical methods in the field. Hence, a course on these topics should help
(a) to get started in the field and understand past achievements and current efforts
(b) to understand what has been learned methodologically so far, so that past mistakes will not be repeated
(c) to help the development of new ideas and hypotheses, also for researchers who are already further advanced. A characteristic of the course is that also non-economic concepts are discussed including such in the areas of psychology, history, anthropology, and sociology. Such a course set-up will give a fuller picture and help to increase the innovativeness of the technology adoption and innovation related research.
Teaching Style: Lectures and Discussion of the state of the art in the field. Discussion of high-impact research contributions. Practical sessions based on quantitative datasets and econometric applications.
Outline of the Course
- Overview - Innovation and Technology Diffusion in the Agricultural Sector
- Historical Perspective
- Recent Trends
- Economic (80%)
- Early approaches (Griliches 1957, 1960)
- Imitations-models (Rogers 2010)
- Threshold models (David 1975)
- Bayesian models (Feder and O'Mara 1982)
- Behavioral Economics (Duflo et al. 2009, Datta and Mullainathan 2014)
- Self-Efficacy (Bandura 1977, 1997)
- Cultural Evoloution (Henrich et al. 2008, Richerson and Boyd 2008, Boyd et al. 2011)
- Social Learning (Rogers 2010)
- Determinants of Technology Adoption (Doss 2006, Sunding and Zilberman 2001, Foster and Rosenzweig 2010, Zilberman et al. 2012, Sauer und Zilberman 2009)
- Productivity-, efficiency, and income-analysis (Mayen et al 2010, Suri 2011, Larson et al. 2014)
- Treatment-effects and policy evaluation (Angrist and Pischke 2008)
- Acemoglu, D. (2009). Introduction to modern economic growth, Princeton University Press.
- Angrist, J. D. and J.-S. Pischke (2008). Mostly harmless econometrics: An empiricist's companion, Princeton university press.
- Bandura, A. (1977). "Self-efficacy: toward a unifying theory of behavioral change." Psychological review 84(2): 191.
- Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efﬁcacy: The exercise of control, New York: Freeman.
- Boyd, R., P. J. Richerson and J. Henrich (2011). "The cultural niche: Why social learning is essential for human adaptation." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(Supplement 2): 10918-10925.
- Conley, T. G. and C. R. Udry (2010). "Learning about a new technology: Pineapple in Ghana." The American Economic Review: 35-69.
- Datta, S. and S. Mullainathan (2014). "Behavioral design: A new approach to development policy." Review of Income and Wealth 60(1): 7-35.
- David, P. A. (1975). Technical choice innovation and economic growth: essays on American and British experience in the nineteenth century, Cambridge University Press.
- Dercon, S., D. O. Gilligan, J. Hoddinott and T. Woldehanna (2009). "The impact of agricultural extension and roads on poverty and consumption growth in fifteen Ethiopian villages." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 91(4): 1007-1021.
- Di Falco, S., M. Veronesi and M. Yesuf (2011). "Does adaptation to climate change provide food security? A micro-perspective from Ethiopia." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 93(3): 829-846.
- Doss, C. R. 2006. Analyzing technology adoption using microstudies: limitations, challenges, and opportunities for improvement. Agricultural Economics, 34, 207-219.
- Duflo, E., M. Kremer and J. Robinson (2009). Nudging farmers to use fertilizer: Theory and experimental evidence from Kenya, National Bureau of Economic Research.
- Feder, G. and D. L. Umali (1993). "The adoption of agricultural innovations: a review." Technological forecasting and social change 43(3): 215-239.
- Feder, G. and G. T. O'Mara (1982). "On information and innovation diffusion: A Bayesian approach." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 64(1): 145-147.
- Feder, G., R. E. Just and D. Zilberman (1985). "Adoption of agricultural innovations in developing countries: A survey." Economic development and cultural change: 255-298.
- Foster, A. D. and M. R. Rosenzweig (2010). "Microeconomics of technology adoption." Annual Review of Economics 2.
- Griliches, Z. (1957). "Hybrid corn: An exploration in the economics of technological change." Econometrica, Journal of the Econometric Society: 501-522.
- Griliches, Z. (1960). "Hybrid corn and the economics of innovation." Science 132(3422): 275-280.
- Henrich, J., R. Boyd and P. J. Richerson (2008). "Five misunderstandings about cultural evolution." Human Nature 19(2): 119-137.
- Larson, D. F., K. Otsuka, T. Matsumoto and T. Kilic (2014). "Should African rural development strategies depend on smallholder farms? An exploration of the inverse‐productivity hypothesis." Agricultural Economics 45(3): 355-367.
- Mayen, C. D., Balagtas, J. V. & Alexander, C. E. 2010. Technology adoption and technical efficiency: organic and conventional dairy farms in the United States. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 92, 181-195.
- Richerson, P. J. and R. Boyd (2008). Not by genes alone: How culture transformed human evolution, University of Chicago Press.
- Rogers, E. M. (2010). Diffusion of innovations, Simon and Schuster.
- Sauer, J. & Zilberman, D. 2012. Sequential technology implementation, network externalities, and risk: the case of automatic milking systems. Agricultural Economics, 43, 233-252.
- Self, S. and R. Grabowski (2007). "Economic development and the role of agricultural technology." Agricultural Economics 36(3): 395-404.
- Sunding, D. & Zilberman, D. 2001. The agricultural innovation process: research and technology adoption in a changing agricultural sector. Handbook of agricultural economics, 1, 207-261.
- Suri, T. (2011). "Selection and comparative advantage in technology adoption." Econometrica 79(1): 159-209.
- Zilberman, D., J. Zhao and A. Heiman (2012). "Adoption versus adaptation, with emphasis on climate change." Annu. Rev. Resour. Econ. 4(1): 27-53.