Using a large sample of single family home sales in Sacramento and San Diego,Â Sam Dastrup, Josh Graff-Zivin, Dora Costa and I document that all else equal — solar homes sell for roughly 3.5% more than non-solar homes.Â Â Â Â This price premium is even larger in communities with more registered Prius vehicles (the environmentalist communities).Â Â Â The capitalization of solar panels into re-sale values would be larger if the price of electricity increases and if home owners could “supersize” their solar panels to allow them to charge the electric vehicles parked in their driveways and perhaps their neighbors’ driveways. In this case, a solar home would become a local “gas station”.Â Â Â Â Â We also document that liberal, environmentalist households are more likely to live in solar homes. In my earlier work, I have documented that such households are more likely to buy “green vehicles” such as the Prius.Â Â Â Â So, liberal environmentalists cluster (i.e Berkeley) will enjoy a reduction in their carbon footprint as these households will be the guinea pigs installing solar to charge their next generation electric vehicles.Â Â If there are enough of such “Berkeley types”, then product manufacturers may enjoy learning by doing effects which will lower price per unit of quality. In this case, we can begin to achieve the “green transition” even if we don’t enact carbon pricing.Â Of Course, carbon pricing is the right policy and will accelerate this transition — but the theme I have sketched is an optimistic dynamic even in the absence of such incentive pricing.Â Long live Berkeley!Â You will see me there in August.
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