Are There Spatial Spillovers in the Adoption of Clean Technology? The Case of Organic Dairy Farming

David J. Lewis, Bradford L. Barham and Brian Robinson

Abstract

This paper examines spatial spillovers associated with the adoption of organic dairy farming. We hypothesize that neighboring farmers can help to reduce the uncertainty of organic conversion by lowering the fixed costs of learning about the organic system. A spatially explicit 10-year panel dataset of more than 1,900 dairy farms in southwestern Wisconsin is used as input into a reduced-form econometric model of the decision to convert to organic production. Using an identification strategy that exploits the panel aspect of the micro dataset, we find evidence that the presence of neighboring organic dairy farms affects the conversion decision. (JEL Q15, Q24)