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Title: Are ‘Water Smart Landscapes’ Contagious? An Epidemic Approach on Networks to Study Peer Effects

Abstract

Here, we test the existence of a neighborhood based peer effect around participation in an incentive based conservation program called ‘Water Smart Landscapes’ (WSL) in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. We use 15 years of geo-coded daily records of WSL program applications and approvals compiled by the Southern Nevada Water Authority and Clark County Tax Assessors rolls for home characteristics. We use this data to test whether a spatially mediated peer effect can be observed in WSL participation likelihood at the household level. We show that epidemic spreading models provide more flexibility in modeling assumptions, and also provide one mechanism for addressing problems associated with correlated unobservables than hazards models which can also be applied to address the same questions. We build networks of neighborhood based peers for 16 randomly selected neighborhoods in Las Vegas and test for the existence of a peer based influence on WSL participation by using a Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered epidemic spreading model (SEIR), in which a home can become infected via autoinfection or through contagion from its infected neighbors. We show that this type of epidemic model can be directly recast to an additive-multiplicative hazard model, but not to purely multiplicative one. Using both inference andmore » prediction approaches we find evidence of peer effects in several Las Vegas neighborhoods.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1462888
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Networks and Spatial Economics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 18; Journal ID: ISSN 1566-113X
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Brelsford, Christa M., and De Bacco, Caterina. Are ‘Water Smart Landscapes’ Contagious? An Epidemic Approach on Networks to Study Peer Effects. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1007/s11067-018-9416-z.
Brelsford, Christa M., & De Bacco, Caterina. Are ‘Water Smart Landscapes’ Contagious? An Epidemic Approach on Networks to Study Peer Effects. United States. doi:10.1007/s11067-018-9416-z.
Brelsford, Christa M., and De Bacco, Caterina. Fri . "Are ‘Water Smart Landscapes’ Contagious? An Epidemic Approach on Networks to Study Peer Effects". United States. doi:10.1007/s11067-018-9416-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1462888.
@article{osti_1462888,
title = {Are ‘Water Smart Landscapes’ Contagious? An Epidemic Approach on Networks to Study Peer Effects},
author = {Brelsford, Christa M. and De Bacco, Caterina},
abstractNote = {Here, we test the existence of a neighborhood based peer effect around participation in an incentive based conservation program called ‘Water Smart Landscapes’ (WSL) in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada. We use 15 years of geo-coded daily records of WSL program applications and approvals compiled by the Southern Nevada Water Authority and Clark County Tax Assessors rolls for home characteristics. We use this data to test whether a spatially mediated peer effect can be observed in WSL participation likelihood at the household level. We show that epidemic spreading models provide more flexibility in modeling assumptions, and also provide one mechanism for addressing problems associated with correlated unobservables than hazards models which can also be applied to address the same questions. We build networks of neighborhood based peers for 16 randomly selected neighborhoods in Las Vegas and test for the existence of a peer based influence on WSL participation by using a Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered epidemic spreading model (SEIR), in which a home can become infected via autoinfection or through contagion from its infected neighbors. We show that this type of epidemic model can be directly recast to an additive-multiplicative hazard model, but not to purely multiplicative one. Using both inference and prediction approaches we find evidence of peer effects in several Las Vegas neighborhoods.},
doi = {10.1007/s11067-018-9416-z},
journal = {Networks and Spatial Economics},
number = ,
volume = 18,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

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Spatial patterns of solar photovoltaic system adoption: The influence of neighbors and the built environment
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Empirics of the Identification of Social Interactions; An Evaluation of the Approaches and Their Results*
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Innovation Diffusion in Heterogeneous Populations: Contagion, Social Influence, and Social Learning
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Homophily and Contagion Are Generically Confounded in Observational Social Network Studies
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Linear Model Selection by Cross-validation
journal, June 1993


Peer Effects in the Diffusion of Solar Photovoltaic Panels
journal, November 2012


An Additive-Multiplicative Cox-Aalen Regression Model
journal, March 2002

  • Scheike, Thomas H.; Zhang, Mei-Jie
  • Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Vol. 29, Issue 1
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Measurement of Peer Effects: Measurement of Peer Effects
journal, February 2017


Inference in disease transmission experiments by using stochastic epidemic models
journal, April 2005

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An in-depth investigation of Xeriscape as a water conservation measure
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The Contagion Effect of Neighboring Foreclosures
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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Innovation Diffusion in Heterogeneous Populations: Contagion, Social Influence, and Social Learning
    journal, December 2009


    Distinguishing influence-based contagion from homophily-driven diffusion in dynamic networks
    journal, December 2009

    • Aral, S.; Muchnik, L.; Sundararajan, A.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, Issue 51
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0908800106

    Empirics of the Identification of Social Interactions; An Evaluation of the Approaches and Their Results*
    journal, April 2006


    Economic Analysis of Social Interactions
    journal, August 2000


    Inference in disease transmission experiments by using stochastic epidemic models
    journal, April 2005

    • Hohle, Michael; Jorgensen, Erik; O'Neill, Philip D.
    • Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics), Vol. 54, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9876.2005.00488.x

    Homophily and Contagion Are Generically Confounded in Observational Social Network Studies
    journal, May 2011

    • Shalizi, Cosma Rohilla; Thomas, Andrew C.
    • Sociological Methods & Research, Vol. 40, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1177/0049124111404820

    A Limited Memory Algorithm for Bound Constrained Optimization
    journal, September 1995

    • Byrd, Richard H.; Lu, Peihuang; Nocedal, Jorge
    • SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, Vol. 16, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1137/0916069

    Peer Effects in the Diffusion of Solar Photovoltaic Panels
    journal, November 2012


    Linear Model Selection by Cross-validation
    journal, June 1993


    An in-depth investigation of Xeriscape as a water conservation measure
    journal, February 2006


    Measurement of Peer Effects: Measurement of Peer Effects
    journal, February 2017


    The Contagion Effect of Neighboring Foreclosures
    journal, May 2013

    • Towe, Charles; Lawley, Chad
    • American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Vol. 5, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1257/pol.5.2.313

    Contributions to the Mathematical Theory of Epidemics. II. The Problem of Endemicity
    journal, October 1932

    • Kermack, W. O.; McKendrick, A. G.
    • Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 138, Issue 834
    • DOI: 10.1098/rspa.1932.0171

    Spatial patterns of solar photovoltaic system adoption: The influence of neighbors and the built environment
    journal, October 2014

    • Graziano, M.; Gillingham, K.
    • Journal of Economic Geography, Vol. 15, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1093/jeg/lbu036

    Identifying Influential and Susceptible Members of Social Networks
    journal, June 2012


    Co-evolution of Density and Topology in a Simple Model of City Formation
    journal, July 2008


    Opinion Leadership and Social Contagion in New Product Diffusion
    journal, March 2011

    • Iyengar, Raghuram; Van den Bulte, Christophe; Valente, Thomas W.
    • Marketing Science, Vol. 30, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1287/mksc.1100.0566

    Additive-Multiplicative Regression Models for Spatio-Temporal Epidemics
    journal, December 2009


    Growing into Water Conservation? Decomposing the Drivers of Reduced Water Consumption in Las Vegas, NV
    journal, March 2017


    Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem
    journal, July 1993

    • Manski, Charles F.
    • The Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 60, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.2307/2298123

    An Additive-Multiplicative Cox-Aalen Regression Model
    journal, March 2002

    • Scheike, Thomas H.; Zhang, Mei-Jie
    • Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Vol. 29, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1111/1467-9469.00065

    Spatial Science and Network Science: Review and Outcomes of a Complex Relationship
    journal, December 2013


    The perils of peer effects
    journal, October 2014