Productivity and household welfare impact of technology adoption: Micro-level evidence from rural Ethiopia

Tigist Mekonnen Melesse


This study evaluates the potential impact of improved agricultural technologies on smallholders’ crop productivity and welfare. We use household-level data from Ethiopian Rural Household Survey collected by IFPRI in 1989-2009. The survey covers around 1500 rural households drawn from four regions and 15 rural villages. Endogenous treatment effect model is employed to account for the selection bias on households’ technology adoption decision. The study employs both single and multi-level treatment effect approaches which is unique and represents a departure from previous impact evaluation studies which relied on single treatment effects. Results of the analysis indicate that there is positive and significant effect of improved technology adoption on the rural households’ crop productivity and welfare in Ethiopia. Key factors for crop productivity and household welfare in the rural farm households are educational level, farm size, credit access, labor use, an extension program, expenditure for modern input and asset holding. While large household size negatively affects the welfare of households. For improving productivity, food security and welfare of smallholder farmers, policy priority should be an investment in research and development on major cereal crops adapted to local agroecological condition.

JEL Classification: D24, I31, Q18

Keywords: Agricultural intensification, impacts, productivity, welfare, endogenous treatment effect model