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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Bajari & Jane Cooley Fruehwirth & Kyoo il Kim & Christopher Timmins, 2012. "A Rational Expectations Approach to Hedonic Price Regressions with Time-Varying Unobserved Product Attributes: The Price of Pollution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1898-1926, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:5:p:1898-1926
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Greenstone & Justin Gallagher, 2008. "Does Hazardous Waste Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market and the Superfund Program," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 951-1003.
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    4. Small, Kenneth A, 1975. "Air Pollution and Property Values: Further Comment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(1), pages 105-107, February.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    8. 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 209-227, February.
    9. 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 125-137, March.
    10. 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..
    11. 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.
    12. Brown, James N & Rosen, Harvey S, 1982. "On the Estimation of Structural Hedonic Price Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 765-768, May.
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    14. 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.
    15. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Herr, A. & Suppliet, M., 2011. "Co-Payment Exemptions and Reference Prices: an Empirical Study of Pharmaceutical Prices in Germany," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/18, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Cl'ement de Chaisemartin & Xavier D'Haultf{oe}uille, 2018. "Two-way fixed effects estimators with heterogeneous treatment effects," Papers 1803.08807, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2018.
    3. Linn, Joshua, 2013. "The effect of voluntary brownfields programs on nearby property values: Evidence from Illinois," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 1-18.
    4. Arik Levinson, 2013. "Happiness as a Public Policy Tool," Working Papers gueconwpa~13-13-04, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Margaret Walls & Carolyn Kousky & Ziyan Chu, 2015. "Is What You See What You Get? The Value of Natural Landscape Views," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 91(1), pages 1-19.
    7. Steve Gibbons & Stephan Heblich & Esther Lho & Christopher Timmins, 2016. "Fear of Fracking? The Impact of the Shale Gas Exploration on House Prices in Britain," SERC Discussion Papers 0207, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    8. 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.
    9. repec:eee:forpol:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:29-35 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Luis Eduardo Quintero, 2014. "Housing Consumption and Prices in a Unified Metropolitan Market with Heterogeneous Preferences," 2014 Papers pqu53, Job Market Papers.
    11. Fesselmeyer, Eric & Liu, Haoming, 2016. "How Do Users Value a Network Expansion? Evidence from the Public Transit System in Singapore," IZA Discussion Papers 10142, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Arik Levinson, 2013. "Happiness, Behavioral Economics, and Public Policy," NBER Working Papers 19329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:82-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:706-721 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Hyun S. Shin & Dominique M. Hanssens & Kyoo il Kim, 2016. "The role of online buzz for leader versus challenger brands: the case of the MP3 player market," Electronic Commerce Research, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 503-528, December.
    16. Le Boennec, Rémy & Salladarré, Frédéric, 2017. "The impact of air pollution and noise on the real estate market. The case of the 2013 European Green Capital: Nantes, France," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 82-89.
    17. Lopamudra Chakraborti & David Ricardo Heres & Danae Hernández Cortés, 2016. "Are Land Values Related to Ambiet Air Pollution Levels? Hedonic Evidence from Mexico City," Working papers DTE 596, CIDE, División de Economía.
    18. Sun, Weizeng & Zheng, Siqi & Wang, Rui, 2015. "The capitalization of subway access in home value: A repeat-rentals model with supply constraints in Beijing," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 104-115.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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