Social Learning for the Green Transition : Evidence from a Pesticide Reduction Policy
PhD student at CEE-M
Social learning and diffusion of innovations through peers can be a key component of the agro-ecological transition, as it contributes to the generalization of good practices and improves the efficiency of public policies by increasing the number of farmers reached without additional cost. We evaluate the impact of a pesticide reduction scheme implemented in France during the 2010s. This specific program (the DEPHY network) was designed to encourage knowledge diffusion beyond the scope of member farms. We applied a quasi-experimental approach to pseudo-panel data collected at national scale over the duration of the program to estimate the direct and spillover effects of the program. We found that doubling the proportion of participants would reduce pesticide use by 10%. Besides, we evaluated spillovers of the program on farms that report having participated to a visit organized by a DEPHY farm and found a significant negative effect of these visits on pesticide use.
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