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Conservation Spillovers: The Effect of Rooftop Solar on Climate Change Beliefs

Graham Beattie (), Yi Han () and Andrea La Nauze ()
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Yi Han: University of Pittsburgh

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2019, vol. 74, issue 3, No 19, 1425-1451

Abstract: Abstract Biased beliefs about climate change may lead to under-regulation of emissions. We study a new channel by which the public form beliefs about climate change: visible mitigation actions. By exploiting the rapid growth of rooftop solar panels, a large survey, and differences in incentives to install solar, we find that visible mitigation actions have a positive impact on belief in basic climate science. However, we also find that higher solar penetration reduces concern about the impacts of climate change, which may dampen demand for additional mitigation policy and individual abatement effort. Our results suggest that government policies that incentivize technology adoption can have subtle but important spillover effects on beliefs and other behaviors.

Keywords: Solar power; Green energy; Climate change; Beliefs; Motivated reasoning; Peer effects; Policy spillovers; Instrumental variables (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s10640-019-00374-3

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