Working Paper BETA #2020-54

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Title : Drivers of organic farming: Lab-in-the-field evidence of the role of social comparison and information nudge in networks in Vietnam.

Author(s) : Kene Boun My, Phu Nguyen-Van, Thi Kim Cuong Pham, Anne Stenger, Tuyen Tiet, Nguyen To-The

Abstract : This study examines farmers’ investments in organic farming using the data from a contextualized lab-in-the-field experiment in Northern Vietnam. We analyze how network structures, information nudge and social comparison between farmers impact their decisions. Results show that networks play a key role in encouraging the adoption of organic farming. However, this effect differs depending on the type of network (circle, star or complete), indicating that the role of individuals and the number of individual connections matter. We find that the cooperation incentivized by social comparison can be more easily achieved in decentralized networks like circle networks than in star networks or complete networks. Our results suggest that policymakers can rely on social interaction and social comparison between farmers as well as on information nudge to encourage farmers to make decisions that support sustainable agriculture in Vietnam.

Key-words : Lab-in-the-field; Network; Nudge; Organic agriculture; Social comparison.

JEL Classification : C91, C93, O13, Q12.