Measuring agricultural knowledge and adoption

Florence Kondylis, Valerie Mueller, S. Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Understanding the tradeoffs in improving the precision of agricultural measures through survey design is crucial. Yet, standard indicators used to determine program effectiveness may be flawed, and at a differential rate for men and women. We use a household survey from Mozambique to estimate the measurement error from male and female self-reports of their adoption and knowledge of three practices: intercropping, mulching, and strip tillage. Despite clear differences in human and physical capital, there are no obvious differences in the knowledge, adoption, and error in self-reporting between men and women. Having received training unanimously lowers knowledge misreports and increases adoption misreports. Other determinants of reporting error differ by gender. Misreporting is positively associated with a greater number of plots for men. Recall decay on measures of knowledge appears prominent among men but not women. Findings from regression and cost-effectiveness analyses always favor the collection of objective measures of knowledge. Given the lowest rate of accuracy for adoption was around 80%, costlier objective adoption measures are recommended for a subsample in regions with heterogeneous farm sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-462
Number of pages14
JournalAgricultural Economics (United Kingdom)
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Agriculture
  • Gender
  • Measurement error
  • Objective adoption
  • Objective knowledge
  • Self-reported adoption
  • Self-reported knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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