Peer Effects in Water Conservation: Evidence from Consumer Migration

41 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2018

See all articles by Bryan Bollinger

Bryan Bollinger

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing

Jesse Burkhardt

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Colorado State University

Kenneth Gillingham

Yale University

Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

Social interactions are widely understood to influence consumer decisions in many choice settings. This paper identifies causal peer effects in water conservation during the growing season, utilizing variation from consumer migration. We use machine learning to classify high-resolution remote sensing images to provide evidence that conversion to dry landscaping underpins the peer effects in water consumption. We also provide evidence that without a price signal, peer effects are muted, demonstrating a complementarity between information transmission and prices. These results inform water use policy in many areas of the world threatened by recurring drought conditions.

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Suggested Citation

Bollinger, Bryan and Burkhardt, Jesse and Gillingham, Kenneth, Peer Effects in Water Conservation: Evidence from Consumer Migration (July 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24812. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3214356

Bryan Bollinger (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Marketing ( email )

40 W 4th St
Tisch 804
New York, NY 10012
United States

Jesse Burkhardt

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Colorado State University ( email )

Department of Economics
Fort Collins, CO 80253-1771
United States

Kenneth Gillingham

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06511
United States
203-436-5465 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.yale.edu/gillingham

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