Locus of Control and Technology Adoption in Africa: Evidence from Ethiopia

Despite substantial government investment to promote modern agricultural technologies - to improve yields and food security - the adoption rates of these technologies remain low in many African countries. This study analyzes two datasets (Ethiopia’s Agricultural Growth Program and a randomized control trial evaluating the demand for weather-index crop insurance) to investigate the impact of locus of control on farmers’ actual technology adoption (chemical fertilizers, improved seeds, and irrigation) and their hypothetical demand for new agricultural technology. A contextualized list of ten questions allowed the research team to measure the degree of farmers’ perceived control over their life events. Alternative econometric approaches were then employed to analyze the farmers’ locus of control.