The Evolution of the California Blueberry Industry: A Social Network Analysis Approach
In this paper, I estimate local and industry peer effects related to the adoption of blueberries as a crop among California growers. I employ publicly available data from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for the years 2001 through 2011. Geographic and inter-industry network analyses complement the econometric estimation and provide greater insight into the patterns of peer effects. Industry peer effects (i.e. those connections to other growers through growing crops other than blueberries) have a positive and statistically significant effect on the probability of adopting blueberries. Local effects play a significant, though seemingly less important, role. The geographic and social network analyses corroborate these results and provide greater depth. I find this type of analysis can over some insight about crop adoption without the expense necessary for most social network studies.
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