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Superfund Taint and Neighborhood Change: Ethnicity, Age Distributions, and Household Structure

Listed author(s):
  • Trudy Ann Cameron


    (Department of Economics, University of Oregon)

  • Graham D. Crawford

    (EconNorthwest, Eugene, OR)

Certain sociodemographic groups often seem to be relatively more concentrated near environmental hazards than in the surrounding community. It is well-known that snapshot cross-sectional statistical analyses cannot reveal how residential mobility for these different groups reacts to changing public perceptions of environmental hazards. Decennial panel data over four census periods, for census tracts surrounding seven different urban Superfund localities, allow us to examine how ethnicities, the age distribution and family structure vary over time with distance from these major environmental disamenities. If the slope of the distance profile decreases over time, the group in question could be argued to be “coming to the nuisance.” We find a lot of statistically significant movement, including some evidence of minority move-in and increasing relative exposure of children, especially those in singleparent households. However, it appears to be hard to make generalizations, across localities, about the mobility patterns for different groups. This heterogeneity may account for the difficulty other researchers have experienced in identifying systematic effects in data that are pooled across different environmental hazards. Changes over time in the sociodemographic mix near Superfund sites may also help explain differences in the extent to which housing prices rebound after cleanup commences.

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Paper provided by University of Oregon Economics Department in its series University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers with number 2003-38.

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Length: 28
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2003
Date of revision: 01 Dec 2003
Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2003-38
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