IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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. Existing literature has found price reductions in response to liability, but few studies have looked for an effect on vacancies. This paper studies variations in state liability rules -- specifically, strict liability and joint and several liability -- that affect the level and distribution of expected private cleanup costs. 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. Neither a price nor quantity effect is estimated from strict liability. The results suggest that liability is at least partly capitalized, but does still deter redevelopment.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15017.

in new window

Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Hilary Sigman, 2010. "Environmental Liability and Redevelopment of Old Industrial Land," Journal of Law & Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 289-306, 05.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15017
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Anna Alberini & David Austin, 2002. "Accidents Waiting to Happen: Liability Policy and Toxic Pollution Releases," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 729-741, November.
  2. Howard F. Chang & Hilary Sigman, 2005. "The Effect of Joint and Several Liability Under Superfund on Brownfields," NBER Working Papers 11667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Carlo Carraro & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2000. "Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy Introduction," NBER Working Papers 7648, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Austin, David & Alberini, Anna, 1998. "Strict Liability as a Deterrent in Toxic Waste Management: Empirical Evidence from Accident and Spill Data," Discussion Papers dp-98-16, Resources For the Future.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Arik Levinson, 1999. "An Industry-Adjusted Index of State Environmental Compliance Costs," NBER Working Papers 7297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. William Harbaugh & Arik Levinson & David Wilson, 2000. "Reexamining the Empirical Evidence for an Environmental Kuznets Curve," Working Papers gueconwpa~00-00-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15017. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.