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Town versus Gown: The Effect of a College on Housing Prices and the Tax Base

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  • Vandegrift, Donald
  • Lockshiss, Amanda
  • Lahr, Michael/L

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the presence of college increases house prices and the tax base. Colleges provide cultural and recreational amenities to the surrounding area but lifestyle choices of students may create negative externalities that depress property prices. In addition, colleges are exempt from property taxes. While the property tax exemption reduces the tax base, the amenity value of the college may cause more development on the remaining land. Previous literature considers the impact of a wide range of amenities including open space, however, none try to capture the effect from a college in a given area. We find that the presence of a college is associated with house prices that are about 11 percent higher. However, the interaction of the college dummy and enrollment is also significant and negative. Taken together, the results suggest that small colleges have the largest effect on house prices and the positive effect on house prices disappears once the college enrollment reaches about 12,500 students. We also find that the effect on house prices is stronger for four-year colleges (14 percent higher) and that the source of the differential is the degree to which the college is residential. For the tax base, the story is simpler. The presence of a college is associated with a tax base that is about 24 percent higher. As is the case with house prices, the effect of a four-year college on the tax base is stronger (about 32 percent) than the effect of a community college. However, neither the size of the college nor the degree to which the college is residential has an impact on the tax base.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/18998/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18998.

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Date of creation: 07 Jul 2009
Date of revision: 30 Nov 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18998

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Keywords: Keywords: tax base; college; local amenities.;

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  1. Craig Brett & Joris Pinkse, 2000. "The determinants of municipal tax rates in British Columbia," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 695-714, August.
  2. Anderson, Soren T. & West, Sarah E., 2006. "Open space, residential property values, and spatial context," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 773-789, November.
  3. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Working Papers 07-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Ian Davidoff & Andrew Leigh, 2008. "How Much do Public Schools Really Cost? Estimating the Relationship between House Prices and School Quality," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(265), pages 193-206, 06.
  5. Haurin, Donald R. & Brasington, David, 1996. "School Quality and Real House Prices: Inter- and Intrametropolitan Effects," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 351-368, December.
  6. Geoghegan, Jacqueline & Wainger, Lisa A. & Bockstael, Nancy E., 1997. "Spatial landscape indices in a hedonic framework: an ecological economics analysis using GIS," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 251-264, December.
  7. Weimer, David L. & Wolkoff, Michael J., 2001. "School Performance and Housing Values: Using Non-Contiguous District and Incorporation Boundaries to Identify School Effects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 2), pages 231-54, June.
  8. Ladd, Helen F. & Bradbury, Katharine L., 1988. "City Taxes and Property Tax Bases," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(4), pages 503-23, December.
  9. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-75, June.
  10. Reback, Randall, 2005. "House prices and the provision of local public services: capitalization under school choice programs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 275-301, March.
  11. Shultz, Steven D & King, David A, 2001. "The Use of Census Data for Hedonic Price Estimates of Open-Space Amenities and Land Use," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2-3), pages 239-52, March-May.
  12. Katharine L. Bradbury & Helen F. Ladd, 1987. "City Taxes and Property Tax Bases," NBER Working Papers 2197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Bucholtz, Shawn & Geoghegan, Jacqueline & Lynch, Lori, 2003. "Capitalization of Open Spaces into Housing Values and the Residential Property Tax Revenue Impacts of Agricultural Easement Programs," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 32(1), April.
  14. Dietrich Earnhart, 2001. "Combining Revealed and Stated Preference Methods to Value Environmental Amenities at Residential Locations," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(1), pages 12-29.
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  1. Is it good to have a college in town?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-01-14 19:56:00

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