Department of Economics
Fellowship: Rocca Dissertation Research
Fellowship Year(s): 2022
Project/Theme Title: Labor Contracting Frictions in Rural Burundi as a Constraint to Technology Take-Up
Abstracts: Agricultural productivity in Sub-Saharan countries is notoriously despite the existence of technologies available to farmers that could profitably increase yields. In this project, we propose that labor market frictions – that is, the inability to write work contracts that is profitable to both parties -- constrain the diffusion of new agricultural technologies. We design an RCT in partnership with the NGO “One Acre Fund” in Burundi (OAF) to test the hypotheses that 1) contracting frictions that prevent farmers from fully appropriating the benefits from training contribute to inefficiently low level of training on these technologies and 2) that encouraging training and the increasing the stock of skilled workers can increase the adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies. The idea that skilled labor is an impediment to technology adoption – rather than credit or insurance – has been understudied and has direct policy implications with respect to whom should be targeted by extension officers when diffusing new technologies.