The effects of a spruce bark beetle outbreak and wildfires on property values in the wildland–urban interface of south-central Alaska, USA
Climate warming is causing the frequency, extent, and severity of natural disturbances to increase. To develop innovative approaches for mitigating the potential negative social consequences of such increases, research is needed investigating how people perceive and respond to natural disturbance. This study uses spatial econometric techniques in a hedonic pricing framework to estimate how wildfires and a spruce bark beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreak affect assessed property values on the Kenai Peninsula of south-central Alaska in 2001 and 2010. We find that large wildfires and the spruce bark beetle outbreak increase property values while small wildfires decrease property values. These findings suggest that homeowners may form complex viewpoints, weighing enhancements to environmental amenities with negative consequences that stem from the occurrence of natural disturbance.
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