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Farmers' impatience and fertilizer use in Burkina Faso

Le Cotty T., Maître d'Hôtel E., Soubeyran R., Subervie J.. 2014. Lyon : s.n., p. 1-19. Annual meeting of French economic association, 2014-06-16/2014-06-18, Lyon (France).

This paper investigates the reasons why African farmers who face similar financial constraints and agro-ecological conditions differ in fertilizer use behavior. We conducted a survey on 1300 maize producers in the Mouhoun and Tuy regions of Burkina Faso in order to collect data on fertilizer use. In addition, we asked hypothetical risk aversion and time discounting questions. Taking into account individual financial constraints and access to fertilizer for maize production, we show that experimental choices about time preferences correlate with observed fertilizer use behavior. This paper presents one of the the first field evidence that links hypothetical time discount questions to observed agricultural decisions.

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