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Does cleanup of hazardous waste sites raise housing values? Evidence of spatially localized benefits

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  • Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti
  • Timmins, Christopher

Abstract

Economists often rely on publicly available data provided at coarse geographical resolution to value spatially localized amenities. We propose a simple refinement to the hedonic method that accommodates this reality: specifically, we measure localized benefits from the cleanup of hazardous waste sites at the sub-census tract level by examining the entire within-tract housing value distribution, rather than simply focusing on the tract median. Our point estimates indicate that the cleanup leads to larger appreciation in house prices at the lower percentiles of the within-tract house value distribution than at higher percentiles. Though not statistically different from one another, the estimates are monotonically ordered from 24.4% at the 10th percentile, 20.8% at the median and 18.7% at the 90th percentile, respectively. We confirm these results in two ways. First, our analysis using restricted access census block data finds comparable results that cleanup leads to a 14.7% appreciation in the median block-level housing values. Second, our analysis of proprietary housing transactions data show that cheaper houses within a census tract are indeed more likely to be closer to a hazardous waste site, explaining the greater impacts they receive from the cleanup process.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:65:y:2013:i:3:p:345-360
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2012.12.001
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    1. repec:eee:pubeco:v:158:y:2018:i:c:p:12-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Billings, Stephen B. & Schnepel, Kevin T., 2017. "The value of a healthy home: Lead paint remediation and housing values," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 69-81.
    4. Lucija Muehlenbachs & Elisheba Spiller & Christopher Timmins, 2015. "The Housing Market Impacts of Shale Gas Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3633-3659, December.
    5. 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.
    6. Grislain-Letrémy, Céline & Katossky, Arthur, 2014. "The impact of hazardous industrial facilities on housing prices: A comparison of parametric and semiparametric hedonic price models," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 93-107.
    7. Zhang, Congwen & Boyle, Kevin J. & Kuminoff, Nicolai V., 2015. "Partial identification of amenity demand functions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 180-197.
    8. Hamilton, Timothy L. & Phaneuf, Daniel J., 2015. "An integrated model of regional and local residential sorting with application to air quality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 71-93.
    9. Kahn, Matthew E. & Walsh, Randall, 2015. "Cities and the Environment," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    10. Modica, Marco, 2017. "Does the construction of biogas plants affect local property values?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 169-172.
    11. Henrik Andersson & Emmanuelle Lavaine, 2018. "Nitrates and property values: evidence from a french market intervention," CEE-M Working Papers 18-06, CEE-M, Universitiy of Montpellier, CNRS, INRA, Montpellier SupAgro.
    12. Nicolai V. Kuminoff & V. Kerry Smith & Christopher Timmins, 2013. "The New Economics of Equilibrium Sorting and Policy Evaluation Using Housing Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(4), pages 1007-1062, December.
    13. Ludo Peeters & Eloi Schreurs & Steven Passel, 2017. "Heterogeneous Impact of Soil Contamination on Farmland Prices in the Belgian Campine Region: Evidence from Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 66(1), pages 135-168, January.
    14. Fink, Alexander & Stratmann, Thomas, 2015. "U.S. housing prices and the Fukushima nuclear accident," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 309-326.
    15. repec:eee:jeeman:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:259-282 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:wsi:jeapmx:v:19:y:2017:i:03:n:s1464333217500132 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Phaneuf, Daniel J. & Liu, Xiangping, 2016. "Disentangling property value impacts of environmental contamination from locally undesirable land uses: Implications for measuring post-cleanup stigmaAuthor-Name: Taylor, Laura O," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 85-98.
    18. Ralph Mastromonaco, 2014. "Hazardous Waste Hits Hollywood: Superfund and Housing Prices in Los Angeles," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(2), pages 207-230, October.

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