Reducing antibiotics: Evidence from an Experiment among Poultry Farmers in China

Annemie Maertens (University of Sussex)

June 12, 2023, 11:00–12:15


Room Auditorium 4

Environment Economics Seminar


China’s expanding poultry industry relies heavily on antibiotics use. This has given rise to concerns regarding bacterial resistance. In this study we worked together with a broiler contractor and evaluated the effects of a two-pronged approach through a randomized controlled trial: Providing micro subsidies for alternative production methods and exposing farmers to role models and differential social norms (within their farmer groups). Farmers responded to the social norms treatment and took up the alternative technologies. However, the degree of take-up was limited, and the recommended accompanying changes in sanitation measures were not fully implemented. This resulted in an increase in (chicken) mortality in some cases, and an overall null-effect on profits. Combining the social norms treatment with the micro-subsidies amplifies these effects, while the subsidies by themselves had no consistent impacts. (Joint with Zhou, Li; Wei, Jiazhu; Li, Lingzhi, Wollni, Meike)