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Local non-market quality of life dynamics in new wind farms communities


  • Kahn, Matthew E.


The environmental benefits from generating electricity using renewable power are well known. Both wind farms and large scale solar installations require significant amounts of land to generate such power. Private land holders gain from leasing and selling land to renewable power generators but how are nearby neighbors and county residents affected? This study uses data from West Texas and documents that wind farm county's residents have gained from recent place based investments in wind farms. County property tax rates have fallen and public school quality has improved in those counties where wind farms have been built. Based on the local fiscal data, local school quality data and local ambient air pollution data, renewable power is a “better neighbor” than conventional fossil fuel fired power plants.

Suggested Citation

  • Kahn, Matthew E., 2013. "Local non-market quality of life dynamics in new wind farms communities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 800-807.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:59:y:2013:i:c:p:800-807 DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.04.037

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nicholas Z. Muller & Robert Mendelsohn & William Nordhaus, 2011. "Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1649-1675, August.
    2. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1991. "The Structure of Local Public Finance and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 774-806, August.
    3. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 588-638, August.
    4. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, November.
    5. Jacobson, Mark Z. & Delucchi, Mark A., 2011. "Providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power, Part I: Technologies, energy resources, quantities and areas of infrastructure, and materials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1154-1169, March.
    6. Delucchi, Mark A. & Jacobson, Mark Z., 2011. "Providing all global energy with wind, water, and solar power, Part II: Reliability, system and transmission costs, and policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1170-1190, March.
    7. Slattery, Michael C. & Lantz, Eric & Johnson, Becky L., 2011. "State and local economic impacts from wind energy projects: Texas case study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7930-7940.
    8. Delmas, Magali A. & Montes-Sancho, Maria J., 2011. "U.S. state policies for renewable energy: Context and effectiveness," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2273-2288, May.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Hollywood Celebrities who Install Wind Turbines in Upstate New York
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2013-11-17 02:03:00
    2. What Do Google Data Centers and Texas Wind Farms Have in Common?
      by Matthew Kahn in Environmental and Urban Economics on 2016-12-12 21:44:00


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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:245-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gibbons, Stephen, 2015. "Gone with the wind: Valuing the visual impacts of wind turbines through house prices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 177-196.
    3. Christian Brannstrom & Mary Tilton & Andrew Klein & Wendy Jepson, 2015. "Spatial Distribution of Estimated Wind-Power Royalties in West Texas," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(4), pages 1-18, December.


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