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Oster, E., and Rebecca L. Thornton. 2012. "Determinants of Technology Adoption: Peer Effects in Menstrual Cup Take-Up." Journal of the European Economic Association, 10(6): 1263-1293.
We estimate the role of peer effects in technology adoption using data from a randomized distribution of menstrual cups in Nepal. Using individual randomization, we estimate causal effects of peer exposure on adoption. We find strong evidence of peer effects: two months after distribution, one additional friend with access to the menstrual cup increases usage by 18.6 percentage points. Using the fact that we observe both trial and usage of the product over time, we examine the mechanisms that drive peer effects. We show evidence that peers impact learning how to use the technology, but find less evidence that peers impact an individual desire to use the menstrual cup.