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Peer Effects in Residential Water Conservation: Evidence from Migration

Author

Listed:
  • Bryan Bollinger
  • Jesse Burkhardt
  • Kenneth T. Gillingham

Abstract

Social interactions are widely understood to influence consumer decisions in many choice settings. This paper identifies causal peer effects in residential water conservation during the summer using variation from movers. We classify high-resolution remote sensing images to provide evidence that conversions of green landscaping to dry landscaping are a primary determinant of the reductions in water consumption. We also find suggestive evidence that without a price signal, peer effects are muted, indicating a possible complementarity between information and prices. These results inform water use policy in many areas of the world threatened by recurring drought conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryan Bollinger & Jesse Burkhardt & Kenneth T. Gillingham, 2020. "Peer Effects in Residential Water Conservation: Evidence from Migration," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 107-133, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:12:y:2020:i:3:p:107-33
    DOI: 10.1257/pol.20180559
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Chris Sampson’s journal round-up for 24th August 2020
      by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-08-24 11:00:07

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elinder, Mikael & Hu, Xiao & Liang, Che-Yuan, 2021. "Water conservation and the common pool problem: Can pricing address free-riding in residential hot water consumption?," CERE Working Papers 2021:12, CERE - the Center for Environmental and Resource Economics.
    2. Cai, Shu & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2024. "Social Identity and Labor Market Outcomes of Internal Migrant Workers," GLO Discussion Paper Series 716 [pre.], Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Alexandra E. Hill & Jesse Burkhardt, 2021. "Peers in the Field: The Role of Ability and Gender in Peer Effects among Agricultural Workers," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(3), pages 790-811, May.
    4. Cai, Shu & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2024. "Social identity and labor market outcomes of internal migrant workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 163(C).
    5. Kenneth T. Gillingham & Bryan Bollinger, 2021. "Social Learning and Solar Photovoltaic Adoption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 67(11), pages 7091-7112, November.
    6. Anna Dreber & Magnus Johannesson & Yifan Yang, 2024. "Selective reporting of placebo tests in top economics journals," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 62(3), pages 921-932, July.
    7. Pratt, Bryan, 2023. "A fine is more than a price: Evidence from drought restrictions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 119(C).
    8. Andrea La Nauze, 2023. "Motivation Crowding in Peer Effects: The Effect of Solar Subsidies on Green Power Purchases," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1465-1480, November.
    9. Bryan Bollinger & Kenneth Gillingham & A. Justin Kirkpatrick & Steven Sexton, 2022. "Visibility and Peer Influence in Durable Good Adoption," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(3), pages 453-476, May.
    10. Zhang, Anquan & Ni, Pengfei & Ling, Chen, 2022. "Peer effects in rural housing demand: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    11. Jesse Burkhardt & Nathan W. Chan & Bryan Bollinger & Kenneth T. Gillingham, 2022. "Conformity and Conservation: Evidence from Home Landscaping and Water Conservation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 104(1), pages 228-248, January.
    12. Adloff, Susann, 2021. "Adapting to Climate Change: Threat Experience, Cognition and Protection Motivation," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242400, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Brelsford, Christa & Abbott, Joshua K., 2021. "How smart are ‘Water Smart Landscapes’?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 106(C).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • L95 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Gas Utilities; Pipelines; Water Utilities
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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