Subsidies and the Green Revolution in Africa

DLPP/Environment joint seminar

Michael Carter (University of California - Davis)

March 21, 2019, 11:00–12:30


Room MF 323

Environment Economics Seminar


The Green Revolution bolstered agricultural yields and rural well-being in Asia and Latin America, but bypassed sub-Saharan Africa. We study the first randomized controlled trial of a government-implemented input subsidy program (ISP) in Africa. A temporary subsidy for Mozambican maize farmers stimulates Green Revolution technology adoption, and effects persist in later unsubsidized years. Social networks of subsidized farmers benefit from spillovers, experiencing increases in technology adoption, yields, and expected returns to the technologies. Spillovers account for the vast majority of subsidy-induced gains. ISPs alleviate informational market failures, stimulating learning about new technologies by subsidy recipients and their social networks.