Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Economics, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Hal Nelson

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Monica Capra

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Heather Campbell

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Kurt Schwabe

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2020 John Shideler


Peer Effects, Turf Removal Rebate, Water Economics, Water Policy

Subject Categories



In January of 2014 the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California implemented a $450 million-dollar regional turf removal rebate program which provided homeowners with a cash rebate for every square foot of natural turf removed from their yard and replaced with a program approved alternative. This dissertation is divided into three distinct papers that analyze the role that non-price mechanisms such as peer effects, social norms, personal norms, and household characteristics play in the household decision to participate in this program. The first paper uses a multilevel survival model framework to explore spatial patterns, drivers of participation, and the presence of peer effects. Results show that home ownership, length of time in home, and peer effects all influence the time to participation in the program. The second paper uses a survey tool and a structural equation model to test the applicability of the Theory of Planned Behavior and Value Belief Norm Theory in program participation. The survey was deployed in April of 2018 and had 108 respondents. Results suggest that environmental beliefs and attitudes did not influence participation in the program, while opinions of drought tolerant versus natural turf lawns do. The final paper applies survey methodology and a contingent valuation framework to analyze sensitivity in the household willingness to accept a rebate to participate in the program. Water conservation beliefs and homeowner views over a drought tolerant lawn were both shown reduce the rebate amount required for participation in the program.



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Economics Commons