This paper investigates whether Burkinabe maize farmers’ fertilizer-use decisionsare correlated with their risk and time preferences. We conducted a survey and a se-ries of hypothetical experiments on a sample of 1,500 farmers. We find that morepatient farmers do use more fertilizer, but it is only because they plant more maize (afertilizer-intensive crop) rather than because they use more fertilizer per hectare ofmaize planted. Conversely, we find no statistically significant link between risk aver-sion and fertilizer use. We use a simple two-period model, which suggests that riskaversion may indeed have an ambiguous effect on fertilizer use.
Linking risk aversion, time preference and fertilizer use in Burkina Faso
6 January 2017