Events

Netflix for Agriculture? Digital Technology for Development

Hosted by STICERD and the Department of Economics

Old Theatre, Old Building

Speaker

Professor Michael Kremer

Professor Michael Kremer

Chair

Professor Oriana Bandiera

The rapid spread of mobile phones in developing countries, coupled with recent advances in our ability to analyze big data through tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, has generated considerable excitement about the potential of ICT for development. How does the reality of ICT use for development stack up to this excitement? And, which institutional arrangements best promote the use of ICT for development? Michael Kremer begins to answer these questions by examining the case of mobile-phone enabled agricultural extension for smallholder farmers.

Recent changes in technology have made it possible to disseminate personalized agricultural information to smallholder farmers via their mobile-phones. In this lecture, Kremer explores the rapidly accumulating evidence on the impact of mobile-phone based agricultural extension. There appear to be at least some settings where farmers change their behavior and increase their yields in response to advice delivered via their mobile phones. Preliminary evidence suggests this may be highly-cost effective. However, due to market failures and asymmetric information private markets will typically undersupply this public good. Governments tend to fail as well due to design flaws that make their solutions difficult for farmers to understand. Kremer discusses potential hybrid solutions that incorporate elements of both private and public provision and argues that zero (or negative) pricing for such services is likely optimal. Finally, the lecture ends with a speculative vision of a “Netflix for Agriculture” in which farmers would provide information, knowing that this would allow the system to make better recommendations for them, and this would in turn improve the performance of the system in offering recommendations to other farmers.

This event is a Kapuscinski Lecture (@kapulectures). Kapuscinski Development Lectures is a series organised by the European Commission, UNDP and partner universities.  The series is funded by the European Commission. 

Michael Kremer is Gates Professor of Developing Societies, Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Presidential Faculty Fellowship, and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Kremer’s recent research examines education, health, water, and agriculture in developing countries.  He has been named as one of Scientific American’s 50 researchers of the year, and has won awards for his work on health economics, agricultural economics, and on Latin America. 

Oriana Bandiera (@orianabandiera) is Sir Anthony Atkinson Professor of Economics and Director of STICERD, LSE.

STICERD (@STICERD_LSE) brings together world-class academics to put economics and related disciplines at the forefront of research and policy. Founded in 1978 by the renowned Japanese economist Michio Morishima, with donations from Suntory and Toyota, we are a thriving research community within the LSE.

The Department of Economics (@LSEEcon) is one of the leading economics departments in the world. It is a large department that ensures mainstream areas of economics are strongly represented in research and teaching.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #KAPTalks

Podcast 

A podcast of this event is available to download from Netflix for Agriculture? Digital Technology for Development.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

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CPD

This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email info@cpduk.co.uk).
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.

This event will be webcast live on the LSE website on LSE LIVE

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