Linking Risk Aversion, Time Preference and Fertiliser Use in Burkina Faso

<p>This paper investigates whether Burkinabe maize farmers’ fertiliser-use decisions are correlated with their risk and time preferences. We conducted a survey and a series of hypothetical experiments on a sample of 1500 farmers. We find that more patient farmers do use more fertiliser, but it is only because they plant more maize (a fertiliser-intensive crop) rather than because they use more fertiliser per hectare of maize planted. Conversely, we find no statistically significant link between risk aversion and fertiliser use. We use a simple two-period model, which suggests that risk aversion may indeed have an ambiguous effect on fertiliser use.</p>