The Effect of Incentivizing Government Agriculture Extension Workers on Yields, Citizen Satisfaction, and on Decreasing Corruption

This project has been canceled. Productivity growth in agriculture--where most of the world's poor work--is very slow, in large measure due to slow technology adoption. Low awareness of best practices is commonly understood to be a problem, and many countries have large cadres of agricultural extension workers (AEWs) to propagate best practices. However, AEW programs have been plagued by ineffectiveness, corruption, and moral hazard. In this project, researchers will experimentally modify the pay structure for AEWs in two ways: low vs. high flat salaries and flat salaries vs. performance pay. They will evaluate the effect of the pay structure on selection as well as on performance conditional on selection. The main outcomes that will be measured are: yields, absence (shirking) of AEW in the field, recommendation of optimal inputs vs. inputs with supplier kickbacks, and shirking in AEWs reporting to the central office.

RFP Cycle:
Spring 2013
  • Full project