Type of Work

Research Paper - Limited Access

Publication Date



Photovoltaic cells are an important tool that can be used to reduce a country’s carbon footprint. However, due to their high installation and repair costs, governments often provide price reductions either directly to consumers or by subsidizing producers. In this study, I use a panel econometric approach to analyze the effects of these two policy approaches across counties in California. I find that both production subsidies and consumer rebates have a positive effect on two different measures of photovoltaic capacity. The study also finds evidence of peer effects. Other results from the study include looking at the effects of various political and socioeconomic variables on a county’s solar capacity. These include finding that a county’s education level has a positive relationship to the average size of a household installation. I conclude by examining the policy implications and the future of the photovoltaic industry.

Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Sponsoring Organization

Levitt Public Affairs Center

Hamilton Scholarship Series

Levitt Summer Research Fellowship

Hamilton Faculty Advisor

Julio Videras