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Toxic Assets: How the Housing Market Responds to Environmental Information Shocks

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  • Nicholas J. Sanders

    ()
    (Department of Economics, The College of William and Mary)

Abstract

In 1998, a number of polluting industries, including fossil fuel power plants, were added to the list of firms publicly reporting pollution releases in the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). This caused a large increase in reported toxic pollution, and a corresponding decrease in median housing prices of 2-3 percent in impacted areas. Contrary to prior findings that TRI information does not influence household actions, I find the additional TRI data caused households to revise priors on ambient pollution levels. This implies that, even with market-based environmental regulation, there remains a role for government as provider of information on environmental conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 128.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 11 Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:128

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Web page: http://www.wm.edu/economics/
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Keywords: pollution; hedonic estimation; Toxics Release Inventory;

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  1. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell & Wolfram Schlenker, 2011. "Water Quality Violations and Avoidance Behavior: Evidence from Bottled Water Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 448-53, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Shanti Gamper-Rabindran & Ralph Mastromonaco & Christopher Timmins, 2011. "Valuing the Benefits of Superfund Site Remediation: Three Approaches to Measuring Localized Externalities," NBER Working Papers 16655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Janet Currie & Johannes F. Schmieder, 2008. "Fetal Exposure to Toxic Releases and Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 14352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ted Gayer & James T. Hamilton & W. Kip Viscusi, 2000. "Private Values Of Risk Tradeoffs At Superfund Sites: Housing Market Evidence On Learning About Risk," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 439-451, August.
  6. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 16798, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lucas W. Davis, 2004. "The Effect of Health Risk on Housing Values: Evidence from a Cancer Cluster," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1693-1704, December.
  8. Linda T. M. Bui & Christopher J. Mayer, 2003. "Regulation and Capitalization of Environmental Amenities: Evidence from the Toxic Release Inventory in Massachusetts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 693-708, August.
  9. Felix Oberholzer-Gee & Miki Mitsunari, 2006. "Information regulation: Do the victims of externalities pay attention?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 141-158, 08.
  10. Khanna, Madhu & Quimio, Wilma Rose H. & Bojilova, Dora, 1998. "Toxics Release Information: A Policy Tool for Environmental Protection," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 243-266, November.
  11. H. Spencer Banzhaf & Randall P. Walsh, 2008. "Do People Vote with Their Feet? An Empirical Test of Tiebout," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 843-63, June.
  12. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1998. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 6826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Mark Atlas, 2007. "TRI to Communicate: Public Knowledge of the Federal Toxics Release Inventory," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(2), pages 555-572.
  14. Neidell, Matthew J., 2004. "Air pollution, health, and socio-economic status: the effect of outdoor air quality on childhood asthma," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1209-1236, November.
  15. Hamilton James T., 1995. "Pollution as News: Media and Stock Market Reactions to the Toxics Release Inventory Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 98-113, January.
  16. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  17. Nicholas J. Sanders, 2012. "Toxic Assets: How the Housing Market Responds to Environmental Information Shocks," Working Papers 128, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  18. Leigh Linden & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2008. "Estimates of the Impact of Crime Risk on Property Values from Megan's Laws," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1103-27, June.
  19. Scott Marchi & James Hamilton, 2006. "Assessing the Accuracy of Self-Reported Data: an Evaluation of the Toxics Release Inventory," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 57-76, January.
  20. Jon P. Nelson, 1981. "Three Mile Island and Residential Property Values: Empirical Analysis and Policy Implications," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 57(3), pages 363-372.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicholas J. Sanders, 2012. "Toxic Assets: How the Housing Market Responds to Environmental Information Shocks," Working Papers 128, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  2. Alexander Fink & Thomas Stratmann, 2013. "U.S. housing prices and the Fukushima nuclear accident: To update, or not to update, that is the question," ICER Working Papers 04-2013, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.

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