330. Adoption of agricultural innovations Special Issue

I’m the guest editor for a new Special Issue of the journal Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. The theme of the issue is “Adoption of Agricultural Innovations” and it includes 11 papers by some of the world’s leading researchers on this topic.

There is an audio interview with me about the Special Issue available here.

The papers are intended to provide reviews or syntheses of key issues related to farmers’ adoption of new practices and technologies. Each paper focuses on a particular aspect of the literature, and the collection as a whole provides an excellent introduction to this enormous body of research.

A particularly nice feature is that all the papers in the issue are open access, meaning that anybody can read them without needing a subscription to the journal. You can access the issue here.

You can hear a brief interview with me providing background and an overview of the Special Issue. The interview is available as an episode of the AEPP Podcast.

Another one of the podcast episodes is another interview related to the Special Issue. In that one I interview Leah Palm-Forster about one of the papers that she and I helped to co-author, called “Agricultural Adoption and Behavioral Economics: Bridging the Gap”. In that paper we talk about the similarities and differences between those two related bodies of research literature, and about possible connections that could be made between them.

Further reading

Here’s a list of all the articles in the issue.

Pannell, D.J. and Zilberman, D. 2020. Understanding adoption of innovations and behavior change to improve agricultural policy. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 3-7.

Norton, G.W. and J. Alwang. 2020. Changes in Agricultural Extension and Implications for Farmer Adoption of New Practices. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 8-20.

Heiman, A., Ferguson, J. and D. Zilberman. 2020. Marketing and Technology Adoption. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 21-30.

Pannell, D.J. and R. Claassen. 2020. The Roles of Adoption and Behavior Change in Agricultural Policy. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 31-41.

Chavas, J.-P. and C. Nauges. 2020. Uncertainty, Learning and Technology Adoption in Agriculture. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 42-53.

Streletskaya, N.A., S.D. Bell, M. Kecinski, T. Li, S. Banerjee, L.H. Palm-Forster, and D.J. Pannell. 2020. Agriculture Adoption and Behavioral Economics: Bridging the Gap. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 54-66.

Weersink, A. and M. Fulton. 2020. Limits to Profit Maximization as a Guide to Behavior Change. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 67-79.

Montes de Oca Munguia, O. and Llewellyn, R. 2020. The Adopters Versus The Technology: Which Matters More When Predicting or Explaining Adoption? Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 80-91.

Huffman, W.E. 2020. Human Capital and Adoption of Innovations: Policy Implications. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 92-99.

Llewellyn, R. and B. Brown. 2020. Predicting adoption of innovations by farmers: how is it different in smallholder agriculture? Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 100-112.

Rola-Rubzen, F., T.R. Paris, J. Hawkins and B. Sapkota. 2020. Improving Gender Participation in Agricultural Technology Adoption in Asia: From Rhetoric to Practical Action. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 42(1), 113-125.


  • 25 February, 2020 - 11:15 am | link

    Hi David. Look forward to reading them. As you know I have been focussing on ‘patterns
    of decision-making that deviate from the predictions of traditional economics’ for most of my career, although only now has it become the in thing so that you can get funding for it. Had a brief look at the paper on BE, but the analysis of agricultural extension seems to be written by agricultural economists, which is perhaps summed up in the sentence: ‘Narrower in scope, the agricultural adoption literature involves research on the observable factors correlated with technology adoption by farmers and the evolution of uptake within populations’. Also Table 1 suggests agricultural adoption research focuses on correlates; uses population scale analysis, uses reduce form regression. That is true when researchers come from an ag econ background – I don’t know how many papers I have received or seen that do follow that approach, but agricultural extensionists have focused on individuals and modelling and prediction using psychology theory for generations – using many of the theories that BEs have just discovered. I agree though that BE, or BI as I prefer to call it, adds additional insights and strategies for interventions to extension – mostly the nudges (many that are good extension practice already and the psych theories have been part of that) and I can see the benefits of RCTs (with caveats not to just treat farmers as lab rats and raise their expectations without delivering). Look forward to browsing the rest of the papers. Say hello to Al Weersink if you are talking to him. He mentored me when I arrived at Cornell and we visited him and Maureen at Guelph and also their family farm.

  • 11 March, 2020 - 12:23 pm | link

    Dear Sir,
    I gone through the research papers published in above volune (volume 42, number 1). and found it very interesting and useful. I wish to submit my research work for publication.

    (Subhash Chand)

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Please solve this to show you\'re a real person *