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Abstract

Peer effects are an increasingly studied field in economics, and can have large impacts at a local level. In this research we seek to identify whether there is an impact of early adopters on their neighbors to become adopters. The scope for this study is the LakeSmart program that operate in Maine. Specifically we are focusing on the Belgrade lakes, and analyzing data from 2005 to present in addition with a survey of demographic characteristics conducted in 2011. Results suggest that the impact of a neighbor on the likelihood of a household to be LakeSmart certified is statistically significant and in line with priors that those nearest have more of a salience with the actions of their neighbors. Our results find that as the distance away from the central household increases, the significance and magnitude of the coefficient decrease. Additional results that we find is evaluating the degree to which homeowners find salience in proximity to other homeowners. We map peer effect coefficients at varying distances to establish a frontier. This information is highly valuable to program managers due to the capacity to focus areas for outreach that have a high propensity to adopt and impact their neighbors.

 

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