Essays in development economics

  • Elena Serfilippi

Student thesis: Doc typesDocteur en Sciences économiques et de gestion


This thesis is the product of five years of research in development economics. The topics of the thesis concern the adoption of new agricultural technologies, on one side, and the political economics of aid effectivness on the other.
The first chapter, Decentralized Aid and Democracy,, develops a theoretical model in which NGOs financed by foreign donors engage in two types of activities in a developing country: service provision and advocacy. In the model, service provision relieves poverty, but these aid resources risk embezzlement by corrupt authorities. Advocacy can encourage the local population to demand more transparency to the authorities, reducing embezzlement at the cost of investing fewer efforts in direct poverty alleviation.
The second chapter,Insurance contracts when farmers "Greatly Value Certainty":
Results form Field Experiments in Burkina Faso, explores how discontinuous
preference over certain and uncertain outcomes have a dampening effect on
the insurance demand.
The third chapter, Learning by Doing and Social Learning. The adoption of BT
cotton in Burkina Faso, investigates the role of learning in the adoption and disadoption of a new agricultural technology. Using a household panel dataset containing detailed information on the adoption of genetically modied cotton seeds varieties, we present evidences on how farmers' decisions to adopt and dis-adopt a new agricultural technology depend on social learning and on learning by doing. We nd that, in general, in the process of adoption, farmers evaluate more the information signal coming from their own experience with the new technology than that of their information network. Moreover, thanks to detailed information concerning the first year in which the technology has been in use, we are able to identify the characteristics of the first adopters and the channel of information transmission between farmers. In particular, we find that large producers are the first one to adopt the new technology, and leader farmers have a strategic role in the information transmission from large producers to ordinary farmers.
la date de réponse8 juin 2016
langue originaleAnglais
L'institution diplômante
  • Universite de Namur
SponsorsFonds de la Recherche Scientifique F.R.S.-FNRS
SuperviseurGani Aldashev (Promoteur), Catherine Guirkinger (Promoteur), Jean-Philippe Platteau (Jury), Michael Carter (Jury), Matthieu Delpierre (Jury) & Mathias Hungerbuhler (Président)

Attachement à un institut de recherche reconnus à l'UNAMUR

  • DeFiPP

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