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Hazardous Waste Cleanup, Neighborhood Gentrification, and Environmental Justice: Evidence from Restricted Access Census Block Data


  • Shanti Gamper-Rabindran
  • Christopher Timmins


We test for residential sorting and changes in neighborhood characteristics in response to the cleanup of hazardous waste sites using restricted access fine-geographical-resolution block data. We examine changes between 1990 and 2000 in blocks within 5km of sites that are proposed to the National Priority List that fall in a narrow interval of Hazardous Ranking Scores, comparing blocks near sites that were cleaned with those near sites that were not. Cleanup leads to increases in population density and housing unit density; increases in mean household income and shares of college-educated; but also to increases in the shares of minorities.

Suggested Citation

  • Shanti Gamper-Rabindran & Christopher Timmins, 2011. "Hazardous Waste Cleanup, Neighborhood Gentrification, and Environmental Justice: Evidence from Restricted Access Census Block Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 620-624, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:620-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sigman, Hilary, 2001. "The Pace of Progress at Superfund Sites: Policy Goals and Interest Group Influence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 315-344, April.
    2. Kent Messer & William Schulze & Katherine Hackett & Trudy Cameron & Gary McClelland, 2006. "Can Stigma Explain Large Property Value Losses? The Psychology and Economics of Superfund," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(3), pages 299-324, March.
    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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Banzhaf, H. Spencer & Walsh, Randall P., 2013. "Segregation and Tiebout sorting: The link between place-based investments and neighborhood tipping," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 83-98.
    2. Matthew J. Holian & Matthew E. Kahn, 2013. "The Rise of the Low Carbon Consumer City," NBER Working Papers 18735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Glenn Sheriff & Kelly B. Maguire, 2013. "Ranking Distributions of Environmental Outcomes Across Population Groups," NCEE Working Paper Series 201304, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Aug 2013.
    4. Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti & Timmins, Christopher, 2013. "Does cleanup of hazardous waste sites raise housing values? Evidence of spatially localized benefits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 345-360.
    5. Kahn, Matthew E. & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Cities and the Environment," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    6. Laura Kuhl & Paul Kirshen & Matthias Ruth & Ellen Douglas, 2014. "Evacuation as a climate adaptation strategy for environmental justice communities," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 493-504, December.
    7. Holian, Matthew J. & Kahn, Matthew E., 2015. "Household carbon emissions from driving and center city quality of life," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 362-368.
    8. repec:eee:resene:v:50:y:2017:i:c:p:1-14 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Devin Bunten & Matthew E. Kahn, 2014. "The Impact of Emerging Climate Risks on Urban Real Estate Price Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 20018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Isabelle Anguelovski, 2015. "Healthy Food Stores, Greenlining and Food Gentrification: Contesting New Forms of Privilege, Displacement and Locally Unwanted Land Uses in Racially Mixed Neighborhoods," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(6), pages 1209-1230, November.

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