Effects of risk preferences and social networks on adoption of genomics by Chinese hog farmers

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9 Scopus citations


The outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in 2018 has had a massive impact on the Chinese hog industry. Finding treatments for the disease has attracted scientists worldwide working on a solution. Using genomics technology could potentially prevent hogs from getting infected with ASF. Many people, however, hold negative attitudes towards genomics technology, even though the Chinese government supports the technology. This paper attempts to determine hog farmers' motivations to adopt genomics for breeding hogs that are more resistant to the disease. In doing so we focus on the impact of their risk preferences and related peer effects that might influence potential adoption. We present a case study using face to face interviews with hog farmers from two locations in China. Results indicate that hog farmers would likely purchase semen produced with genomics technology if the semen was ASF resistant, reducing the probability of ASF by at least 60%. Most hog farmers we surveyed were risk averse. Findings suggest that more risk-averse hog farmers are more likely to delay the adoption of ASF resistant semen as compared to more risk-prone farmers. Results from social network analysis indicate hog farmers' social network status, such as, centrality, does not affect the time frame in which they would adopt genomics technology. However, the genomics adoption time frame of a particular hog farmer is positively correlated with other closely related hog farmers’ time frames. This study also finds hog farmers form networks with other farmers similar to them, not only do they share a similar attitude in adopting genomics technology but they also have similar risk preferences. Overall, this case study provides implications for local governments and companies trying to promote new technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-127
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Behavioral contagion
  • Crisis
  • Genomics technology
  • Hog production
  • Outbreak
  • Risk preferences
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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