Geographic Heterogeneity and Technology Adoption: Evidence from Brazil

Juliano Assunção, Arthur Bragança and Pedro Hemsley

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between geographic heterogeneity and technology adoption in the context of the direct planting system (DPS) in Brazil. The DPS is a no-till farming technique that increases productivity and decreases soil degradation. However, it requires adaptation to local conditions to be profitably used. Combining detailed geographic and agricultural data, we show that geographic heterogeneity reduces DPS adoption. This effect is robust to the inclusion of controls and not observed for technologies that do not require local adaptation. These findings are consistent with models in which geographic heterogeneity increases the cost of adapting technologies to local conditions. (JEL O13, Q55)

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