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Responding to risky neighbors: Testing for spatial spillover effects for defensible space in a fire-prone WUI community

Posted date: September 26, 2018
Publication Year: 
2018
Authors: Warziniack, TravisChamp, Patricia A.; Meldrum, James; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Barth, Christopher M.; Falk, Lilia C.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Environmental and Resource Economics. doi: 10.1007/s10640-018-0286-0.

Abstract

Often, factors that determine the risk of an environmental hazard occur at landscape scales, and risk mitigation requires action by multiple private property owners. How property owners respond to risk mitigation on neighboring lands depends on whether mitigation actions are strategic complements or strategic substitutes. We test for these neighbor interactions with a case study on wildfire risk mitigation on private properties. We use two measures of wildfire risk mitigation - an assessment by a wildfire professional and a self-assessment by homeowners. Taken together, the two assessments provide the first empirical explanation for strategic complements in wildfire risk mitigation and a more complete picture of how homeowners respond to this landscape-scale risk. We find homeowners that mitigate risk on their land are more likely to have neighbors that do the same, and homeowners that fail to mitigate risk are more likely to have neighbors that fail to do so as well. Due to spatial spillovers, motivating a few key residents to take action could reduce risk across the landscape.

Citation

Warziniack, Travis; Champ, Patricia; Meldrum, James; Brenkert-Smith, Hannah; Barth, Christopher M.; Falk, Lilia C. 2018. Responding to risky neighbors: Testing for spatial spillover effects for defensible space in a fire-prone WUI community. Environmental and Resource Economics. doi: 10.1007/s10640-018-0286-0.