Access to Information, Technology Adoption and Productivity: Large-scale Evidence from Agriculture in India
67 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2019 Last revised: 30 Jan 2021
Date Written: January 29, 2021
We present large-scale evidence on the effects of access to information on agricultural technology adoption and crop yields in India. We combine geo-referenced data on the construction of new mobile phone towers with data on the location and content of 2.5 million phone calls made by farmers to a leading call center for agricultural advice. Exploiting language barriers between farmers and call center advisors, we show that while the expansion of the mobile phone network may lead to a long-term modernization of agriculture and increased productivity, this only happens in areas where farmers can access agricultural advice over the phone.
Keywords: Mobile phones, languages, agriculture, HYV Seeds, KCC, phone towers.
JEL Classification: G21, Q16, E51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation