The Effect of Aspirations on Agricultural Innovations in Rural Ethiopia Report as inadecuate

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Previous studies on innovation in agriculture focus mainly on identifying observable andresource related deprivation or ‘external’ constraints. Yet, related literature suggests that‘internal’ constraints, such as lack of aspirations, could reinforce external constraints andthis may lead to a self-sustaining trap of poverty and lack of proactive behavior. Since bothaspirations and innovations are future oriented they are likely to be intimately linked.Aspirations are motivators which can enhance innovations. On the other hand, aspirationsare also affected by one’s level of achievement implying that aspirations and innovations aresimultaneously determined. To identify the effect of aspirations on adoption of agriculturalinnovations, we conduct both plot level and household level analysis using a purposelycollected data from sample households in rural Ethiopia. Using econometric strategies thataccount for the endogenous nature of the variable of interest, we find that low aspirations(and having very-narrow/wide aspirations gap) are strongly associated with lowinnovativeness of farm households and low adoption of innovation products such asimproved seed, and low involvement in row-planting and sustainable natural resourcemanagement practices. Results suggest that the effect of aspirations is stronger on theintensity of use of innovations (e.g. fertilizer use per hectare of land) than its effect on accessto or use of individual innovations if those innovations are widely adopted in the study areas.We also find other internal factors such as self-esteem, internal locus of control, trust inothers, subjective wellbeing, and perception on causes of poverty to be strongly correlatedwith aspirations and expectations.

Keywords: Aspirations ; innovations ; agriculture ; Ethiopia

Subject(s): Agribusiness

International Development

Issue Date: 2015

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier:

Total Pages: 45

Record appears in: International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) > 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy

Author: Mekonnen, Daniel ; Gerber, Nicolas


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