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Environmental Contamination and House Values: A Study of Market Adjustment

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  • Katherine Kiel

    () (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

Abstract

In many communities throughout the United States, contaminated sites are identified and addressed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In each of these communities, the EPA presents a plan of action and provides the community with information about progress being made. Does the housing market adjust quickly after announcements by EPA concerning the existence and toxicity of Superfund sites? Other studies have shown that the levels of house prices fall when people suspect there is a problem, and again when the EPA announces that the site is toxic (e.g. Kiel, 1995), but how can we tell when or if the market has completely adjusted to the existence of such a site? If the site is always perceived as an externality, then the coefficient on distance from the house to the site in the hedonic regression on house values should remain statistically significant and negative. Thus merely looking at the coefficient does not aid in determining when, or if, the market has cleared.

Suggested Citation

  • Katherine Kiel, 2006. "Environmental Contamination and House Values: A Study of Market Adjustment," Working Papers 0607, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:0607
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    File URL: http://web.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/HC0607-Kiel_Woburn.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jill J. McCluskey & Gordon C. Rausser, 2003. "Stigmatized Asset Value: Is It Temporary or Long-Term?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 276-285, May.
    2. Farber, Stephen, 1998. "Undesirable facilities and property values: a summary of empirical studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 1-14, January.
    3. Greenberg, M & Hughes, J, 1992. "The Impact of Hazardous Waste Superfund Sites on the Value of Houses Sold in New Jersey," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 26(2), pages 147-153, June.
    4. Kiel Katherine A. & McClain Katherine T., 1995. "House Prices during Siting Decision Stages: The Case of an Incinerator from Rumor through Operation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 241-255, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Kiel Katherine A. & McClain Katherine T., 1995. "The Effect of an Incinerator Siting on Housing Appreciation Rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 311-323, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    hedonic models; environmental prices; housing; adjustment process;

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis

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