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A Rational Expectations Approach to Hedonic Price Regressions with Time-Varying Unobserved Product Attributes: The Price of Pollution

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  • Patrick Bajari
  • Jane Cooley Fruehwirth
  • Kyoo il Kim
  • Christopher Timmins

Abstract

We propose a new strategy for a pervasive problem in the hedonics literature: recovering hedonic prices in the presence of time-varying correlated unobservables. Our approach relies on an assumption about home buyer rationality, under which prior sales prices can be used to control for time-varying unobservable attributes of the house or neighborhood. Using housing transactions data from California's Bay Area between 1990 and 2006, we apply our estimator to recover marginal willingness to pay for reductions in three of the EPA's "criteria" air pollutants. Our findings suggest that ignoring bias from time-varying correlated unobservables considerably understates the benefits of a pollution reduction policy. (JEL D12, D84, Q53, Q58, R21)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 (August)
Pages: 1898-1926

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:5:p:1898-1926

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  1. James N. Brown & Harvey S. Rosen, 1982. "On the Estimation of Structural Hedonic Price Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Small, Kenneth A, 1975. "Air Pollution and Property Values: Further Comment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(1), pages 105-07, February.
  3. Ivar Ekeland & James J. Heckman & Lars P. Nesheim, 2003. "Identification and Estimation of Hedonic Models," NBER Working Papers 9910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael Greenstone & Justin Gallagher, 2008. "Does Hazardous Waste Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market and the Superfund Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 951-1003, August.
  5. repec:reg:wpaper:134 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Tra, Constant I., 2010. "A discrete choice equilibrium approach to valuing large environmental changes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 183-196, February.
  7. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 2000. "GMM Estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-340.
  8. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard, 2005. "Demand Estimation with Heterogeneous Consumers and Unobserved Product Characteristics: A Hedonic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1239-1276, December.
  9. Smith, V Kerry & Huang, Ju-Chin, 1995. "Can Markets Value Air Quality? A Meta-analysis of Hedonic Property Value Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 209-27, February.
  10. Bartik, Timothy J, 1987. "The Estimation of Demand Parameters in Hedonic Price Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 81-88, February.
  11. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  12. Kelly C. Bishop & Christopher Timmins, 2011. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Estimating Marginal Willingness to Pay for Differentiated Products Without Instrumental Variables," NBER Working Papers 17611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  14. Case, Karl E & Shiller, Robert J, 1989. "The Efficiency of the Market for Single-Family Homes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 125-37, March.
  15. Mendelsohn, Robert, 1985. "Identifying Structural Equations with Single Market Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 525-29, August.
  16. Epple, Dennis, 1987. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Estimating Demand and Supply Functions for Differentiated Products," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 59-80, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Arik Levinson, 2013. "Happiness as a Public Policy Tool," Working Papers gueconwpa~13-13-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  2. Linn, Joshua, 2012. "The Effect of Voluntary Brownfields Programs on Nearby Property Values: Evidence from Illinois," Discussion Papers dp-12-35, Resources For the Future.
  3. Carriazo, Fernando & Ready, Richard & Shortle, James, 2013. "Using stochastic frontier models to mitigate omitted variable bias in hedonic pricing models: A case study for air quality in Bogotá, Colombia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 80-88.
  4. Arik Levinson, 2013. "Happiness, Behavioral Economics, and Public Policy," NBER Working Papers 19329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Walls, Margaret & Kousky, Carolyn & Chu, Ziyan, 2013. "Is What You See What You Get? The Value of Natural Landscape Views," Discussion Papers dp-13-25, Resources For the Future.

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