The economics of risk, uncertainty and learning in the adoption of new agricultural technologies: where are we on the learning curve?
The roles of risk, uncertainty and learning in the adoption of new technologies are reviewed. Although they have been emphasized in many commentaries about the adoption process, they have been directly addressed in only a minority of the large literature relating to the adoption of innovations. Risk, uncertainty and learning play a number of distinct roles in the process of adopting new technologies. These distinct roles have often been blurred or treated incompletely in past research. Theoretical and empirical literature, which explores and evaluates these various roles is reviewed, with a focus on agricultural technologies. A conceptual framework that captures the main impacts and roles of risk is outlined. A range of research needs and emerging issues for risk and technology adoption in agriculture are discussed.