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

Environmental and Resource Economics
By: , and 

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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.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Responding to risky neighbors: Testing for spatial spillover effects for defensible space in a fire-prone WUI community
Series title Environmental and Resource Economics
DOI 10.1007/s10640-018-0286-0
Volume 73
Issue 4
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 25 p.
First page 1023
Last page 1047
Country United States
State Colorado
County Delta County, Gunnison County , Ouray County, San Miguel County