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Essays on the Social Networks and Technology Adoption

Sabrina Gulab, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The two chapters of this dissertation focus on the role of social networks in the process of technology adoption in the context of Undesirable Vegetation Transitions (UVTs) using a survey and an economic experiment. The first chapter investigates the impact of specific social network characteristics on the technology adoption process using data collected via a survey of a cross section of Nebraska producers. The study first examines how specific social network characteristics such as variation in the type of information effects producer’s information seeking behavior regarding new management practices and technologies. Next it explores the influence of information from social networks on the likelihood of adopting mapping and scanning technology in the face of UVTs. The results indicate that the social network characteristics of individuals have no significant effect on information seeking behavior and significant effects on the likelihood of adopting mapping and scanning technology. Specifically, occupation diversity among the producers’ social network contacts, frequency of interaction between producers and their contacts and network density are positively related to technology adoption, However, network openness, which is the extent to which producers’ network exhibit structural holes, or lack of connections between contacts, is negatively related to technology adoption. The second chapter examines the extent to which information acquired from strong ties (to own community members) and weak ties (to members of another community) influences technology adoption .This study uses a lab experiment in a dynamic public good setting to evaluate the impact of three treatments: i) StrongTie: to capture the effects of information exchange between strong ties ii) WeakTieHigh quality: which considers the effect of information obtained from weak ties with same risk preferences and iii) WeakTieLow quality which evaluates the impact of information obtained from weak ties with different risk preferences as the subject. Results indicate that there is no significant effect of information received from strong ties and weak ties on an individual’s adoption decision. However, we observed that in the WeakTieHigh treatment subjects contributed more than StrongTie and WeakTieLow treatment.

Subject Area

Agricultural economics|Agricultural engineering

Recommended Citation

Gulab, Sabrina, "Essays on the Social Networks and Technology Adoption" (2023). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI30575717.