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Environmental Liability and Redevelopment of Old Industrial Land

  • Hilary Sigman

Many communities are concerned about the reuse of potentially contaminated land (brownfields) and believe that environmental liability is a hindrance to redevelopment. However, with land price adjustments, liability might not impede the reuse of this land. This article studies state liability rules-specifically, strict liability and joint and several liability-that affect the level and distribution of expected costs of private cleanup. It explores the effects of this variation on industrial land prices and vacancy rates and on reported brownfields in a panel of cities across the United States. In the estimated equations, joint and several liability reduces land prices and increases vacancy rates in central cities. The results suggest that liability is at least partly capitalized but does still deter redevelopment. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 53 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 289-306

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:53:y:2010:i:2:p:289-306
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/

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  1. Howard F. Chang & Hilary Sigman, 2005. "The Effect of Joint and Several Liability under Superfund on Brownfields," Departmental Working Papers 200508, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  2. Alberini, Anna & Longo, Alberto & Tonin, Stefania & Trombetta, Francesco & Turvani, Margherita, 2005. "The role of liability, regulation and economic incentives in brownfield remediation and redevelopment: evidence from surveys of developers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 327-351, July.
  3. Carlo Carraro & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2000. "Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy: Introduction," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0011, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  4. Alberini, Anna & Austin, David, 1999. "On and Off the Liability Bandwagon: Explaining State Adoptions of Strict Liability in Hazardous Waste Programs," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 41-63, January.
  5. Nijkamp, Peter & Rodenburg, Caroline A. & Wagtendonk, Alfred J., 2002. "Success factors for sustainable urban brownfield development: A comparative case study approach to polluted sites," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 235-252, February.
  6. Stafford, Sarah L, 2003. "Assessing the Effectiveness of State Regulation and Enforcement of Hazardous Waste," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 27-41, January.
  7. Boyd, James & Harrington, Winston & Macauley, Molly K, 1996. "The Effects of Environmental Liability on Industrial Real Estate Development," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 37-58, January.
  8. Alberini, Anna & Austin, David H., 1999. "Strict Liability as a Deterrent in Toxic Waste Management: Empirical Evidence from Accident and Spill Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 20-48, July.
  9. William T. Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Molloy Wilson, 2002. "Reexamining The Empirical Evidence For An Environmental Kuznets Curve," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 541-551, August.
  10. Tom H. Tietenberg, 1989. "Indivisible Toxic Torts: The Economics of Joint and Several Liability," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(4), pages 305-319.
  11. Austin, David & Alberini, Anna, 2001. "Accidents Waiting to Happen: Liability Policy and Toxic Pollution Releases," Discussion Papers dp-01-06, Resources For the Future.
  12. Arik Levinson, 2001. "An Industry-Adjusted Index of State Environmental Compliance Costs," NBER Chapters, in: Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy, pages 131-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Segerson Kathleen, 1993. "Liability Transfers: An Economic Assessment of Buyer and Lender Liability," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages S46-S63, July.
  14. Levinson, Arik, 1996. "Environmental regulations and manufacturers' location choices: Evidence from the Census of Manufactures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 5-29, October.
  15. Kathleen Segerson, 1994. "Property Transfers and Environmental Pollution: Incentive Effects of Alternative Policies," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(3), pages 261-272.
  16. Chang, Howard F & Sigman, Hilary, 2000. "Incentives to Settle under Joint and Several Liability: An Empirical Analysis of Superfund Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 205-36, January.
  17. Kris Wernstedt & Peter B. Meyer & Anna Alberini, 2006. "Attracting private investment to contaminated properties: The value of public interventions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 247-369.
  18. Thomas O. Jackson, 2002. "Environmental Contamination and Industrial Real Estate Prices," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 23(1/2), pages 179-200.
  19. Wernstedt, Kris & Alberini, Anna & Heberle, Lauren & Meyer, Peter, 2004. "The Brownfields Phenomenon: Much Ado about Something or the Timing of the Shrewd?," Discussion Papers dp-04-46, Resources For the Future.
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