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The distributional effects of pollution regulations: Do renters fully pay for cleaner air?

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  • Grainger, Corbett A.

Abstract

Changes in housing prices play an important role in determining the incidence of environmental regulations: if the increase in value due to changes in environmental amenities is fully passed forward in the form of higher rental prices, renters may receive no net benefit from the regulations. To estimate the pass-through of the value of an environmental amenity, I exploit the reduction in suspended particulate matter (PM10) due to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA). Using instrumental variables at varying levels of spatial aggregation I find that the 1990 CAAA led to a significant increase in rents, but the estimated percentage effect is about half as large as that of owner-occupied housing values. Little of this difference is driven by income differences between renters and homeowners; when stratifying by income and comparing the effect of the 1990 CAAA on housing values and rents, point estimates suggest that half of the increase in value is passed on to renters in the form of higher rents. This suggests that pass-through may be incomplete, but landowners still capture much of the value of the air quality regulations.

Suggested Citation

  • Grainger, Corbett A., 2012. "The distributional effects of pollution regulations: Do renters fully pay for cleaner air?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 840-852.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:9:p:840-852
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2012.06.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Banzhaf, H. Spencer & Farooque, Omar, 2013. "Interjurisdictional housing prices and spatial amenities: Which measures of housing prices reflect local public goods?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 635-648.
    2. Lang, Corey, 2015. "The dynamics of house price responsiveness and locational sorting: Evidence from air quality changes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 71-82.
    3. Peter Haan & Martin Simmler, 2016. "Wind Electricity Subsidies = Windfall Gains for Land Owners? Evidence from Feed-In Tariff in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1568, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. repec:eee:pubeco:v:159:y:2018:i:c:p:16-32 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Corey Lang, 2012. "The Dynamics of House Price Capitalization and Locational Sorting: Evidence from Air Quality Changes," Working Papers 12-22, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/691465 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Adam Isen & Maya Rossin-Slater & W. Reed Walker, 2017. "Every Breath You Take—Every Dollar You’ll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(3), pages 848-902.
    9. Solomon Hsiang & Paulina Oliva & Reed Walker, 2017. "The Distribution of Environmental Damages," NBER Working Papers 23882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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