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This content will become publicly available on July 27, 2019

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

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:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Networks and Spatial Economics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Networks and Spatial Economics; Journal ID: ISSN 1566-113X
Publisher:
Springer
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
OSTI Identifier:
1462888