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Hazardous Waste Hits Hollywood: Superfund and Housing Prices in Los Angeles

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  • Ralph Mastromonaco

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Abstract

This paper contributes to the ongoing debate concerning the effect of various actions taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under CERCLA, commonly known as the Superfund Program, on housing prices. This study uses a housing transaction panel dataset encompassing the five major counties of the Los Angeles Combined Statistical Area to estimate the program’s influence on the local housing market. Using house and time-varying census tract fixed effects, I am able to avoid many of the endogeneity problems seen in previous research attempting to measure the Superfund treatment effect. An estimate of the effect on housing prices is given for each of the major events that occur under a typical Superfund remediation. After controlling for confounding correlated unobservables, I find a 7.3 % increase in sales price for houses within 3 km of a site that moves through the complete Superfund program. The analysis gives evidence of positive price appreciation for housing markets and serves as a lower bound for measuring remediation benefits. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:59:y:2014:i:2:p:207-230
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-013-9725-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Farber, Stephen, 1998. "Undesirable facilities and property values: a summary of empirical studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-14, January.
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    5. Shreekant Gupta & George Van Houtven & Maureen Cropper, 1996. "Paying for Permanence: An Economic Analysis of EPA's Cleanup Decisions at Superfund Sites," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 563-582, Autumn.
    6. Kohlhase, Janet E., 1991. "The impact of toxic waste sites on housing values," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-26, July.
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    8. McCluskey, Jill J. & Rausser, Gordon C., 2003. "Hazardous waste sites and housing appreciation rates," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 166-176, March.
    9. Kiel, Katherine & Zabel, Jeffrey, 2001. "Estimating the Economic Benefits of Cleaning Up Superfund Sites: The Case of Woburn, Massachusetts," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2-3), pages 163-184, March-May.
    10. Ted Gayer & James T. Hamilton & W. Kip Viscusi, 2002. "The Market Value of Reducing Cancer Risk: Hedonic Housing Prices with Changing Information," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 266-289, October.
    11. Douglas S. Noonan & Douglas J. Krupka & Brett M. Baden, 2007. "Neighborhood Dynamics And Price Effects Of Superfund Site Clean-Up," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 665-692.
    12. Kiel, Katherine A. & Williams, Michael, 2007. "The impact of Superfund sites on local property values: Are all sites the same?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 170-192, January.
    13. Redfearn, Christian L., 2009. "How informative are average effects? Hedonic regression and amenity capitalization in complex urban housing markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 297-306, May.
    14. Ted Gayer & James T. Hamilton & W. Kip Viscusi, 2000. "Private Values Of Risk Tradeoffs At Superfund Sites: Housing Market Evidence On Learning About Risk," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 439-451, August.
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