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Can Natural Experiments Measure Behavioral Responses to Environmental Risks?

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  • Jared Carbone
  • Daniel Hallstrom
  • V. Smith

    ()

Abstract

Efforts to measure people’s responses to spatially delineated risks confront the potential for correlation between these risks and other, unobserved characteristics of these locations. The possibility of correlation arises in part because individuals observe other locational attributes that can be expected to influence the hedonic equilibrium. One response to this problem is to use events from nature to exploit both temporal and spatial variation in the behavioral responses of interest. This paper evaluates the use of hurricanes as a source of new risk information to households in coastal counties potentially subject to the effects of these storms. We study the extent to which housing prices before and after hurricane Andrew, a hurricane with unprecedented property loss, reveal how Floridians responded to the risk information provided by the storm. Two counties are selected – one without and another with damage from the hurricane. To evaluate the plausibility of using quasi-random experiments for locations not directly affected by natural events, we compare Lee County’s results to those of Dade County, where the majority of the damage occurred. Our findings suggest, after controlling for ex post storm damage and changes in insurance markets, there is a reasonably high level of consistency in a repeat sales model’s ability to estimate the effects of the risk information conveyed by the storm for both counties. Copyright Springer 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Jared Carbone & Daniel Hallstrom & V. Smith, 2006. "Can Natural Experiments Measure Behavioral Responses to Environmental Risks?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(3), pages 273-297, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:33:y:2006:i:3:p:273-297
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-005-3610-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher Timmins, 2006. "Endogenous Land use and the Ricardian Valuation of Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 33(1), pages 119-142, January.
    2. Hallstrom, Daniel G. & Smith, V. Kerry, 2005. "Market responses to hurricanes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 541-561, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jed Cohen & Christine E. Blinn & Kevin J. Boyle & Thomas P. Holmes & Klaus Moeltner, 2016. "Hedonic Valuation with Translating Amenities: Mountain Pine Beetles and Host Trees in the Colorado Front Range," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 63(3), pages 613-642, March.
    2. Kousky, Carolyn & Walls, Margaret, 2013. "Floodplain Conservation as a Flood Mitigation Strategy: Examining Costs and Benefits," Discussion Papers dp-13-22-rev, Resources For the Future.
    3. Kousky, Carolyn & Walls, Margaret, 2014. "Floodplain conservation as a flood mitigation strategy: Examining costs and benefits," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 119-128.
    4. Atreya, Ajita & Ferreira, Susana & Michel-Kerjan, Erwann, 2015. "What drives households to buy flood insurance? New evidence from Georgia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 153-161.
    5. V. Smith & Jared Carbone & Jaren Pope & Daniel Hallstrom & Michael Darden, 2006. "Adjusting to natural disasters," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 37-54, September.
    6. Pesko, Michael, 2014. "Hurricane Katrina: Behavioral Health and Health Insurance in Non-Impacted Vulnerable Counties," MPRA Paper 56205, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Liu, Haiyan & Ferreira, Susana & Brewer, Brady, 2016. "The Housing Market Impacts of Wastewater Injection Induced Seismicity Risk," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236069, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    8. Daniel Sutter & Marc Poitras, 2010. "Do people respond to low probability risks? Evidence from tornado risk and manufactured homes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 181-196, April.
    9. Murphy, Anthony & Strobl, Eric, 2009. "The Impact of Hurricanes on Housing Prices: Evidence from US Coastal Cities," MPRA Paper 19353, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Greg Barron & Eldad Yechiam, 2009. "The coexistence of overestimation and underweighting of rare events and the contingent recency effect," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(6), pages 447-460, October.
    11. Ferris, Jeffrey S. & Newburn, David A., 2017. "Wireless alerts for extreme weather and the impact on hazard mitigating behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 239-255.
    12. Kevin Simmons & Daniel Sutter, 2007. "Tornado shelters and the manufactured home parks market," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 43(3), pages 365-378, December.
    13. Van Butsic & Ellen Hanak & Robert G. Valletta, 2008. "Climate change and asset prices: hedonic estimates for North American ski resorts," Working Paper Series 2008-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    14. James R. Meldrum, 2016. "Floodplain Price Impacts by Property Type in Boulder County, Colorado: Condominiums Versus Standalone Properties," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 64(4), pages 725-750, August.
    15. Ewing Bradley T. & Kruse Jamie Brown & Sutter Daniel, 2009. "An Overview of Hurricane Katrina and Economic Loss," Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 1-14, April.
    16. Bin, Okmyung & Landry, Craig E., 2013. "Changes in implicit flood risk premiums: Empirical evidence from the housing market," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 361-376.
    17. Osgood, Daniel E., 2005. "Snowblind: the importance of climate information for recreational real estate," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19571, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    18. Sauer, Johannes, 2011. "Natural Disasters and Agriculture: Individual Risk Preference towards Flooding," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115989, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    19. Atreya, Ajita & Ferreira, Susana, 2012. "Spatial Variation in Flood Risk Perception: A Spatial Econometric Approach," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124863, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    20. Kousky, Carolyn & Walls, Margaret, 2013. "Floodplain Conservation as a Flood Mitigation Strategy: Examining Costs and Benefits," Discussion Papers dp-13-22, Resources For the Future.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hurricane risk; repeat sales; hedonic models; Q51; Q54;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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