One of the more exciting sessions I went to at the recent Centre for the Study of African Economies Conference was on the relationship between agricultural plot size and productivity. I walked out of the session not sure of the shape of the relationship, but I was sure of the fact that there is a lot of measurement error going on. And this is measurement error that matters a lot.
Social networks affect all of our lives; the people we know influence what we're exposed to and the actions we take. Gaining weight? Blame your network. Got a job promotion? Thank your network. In the developed world, the term "social networks" often illicits thoughts of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and many, many more. In the rural developing world, networks still depend, for the most part, on offline interactions. Access to information is by word of mouth, and a few central individuals often disseminate information from the top down to the remainder of a village.