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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Lala Ma

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July 2014The Value of Brownfield Remediation
with Kevin Haninger, Christopher Timmins: w20296
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Program awards grants to redevelop contaminated lands known as brownfields. This paper estimates cleanup benefits by combining administrative records for a nationally representative sample of brownfields with high-resolution, high-frequency housing data. We find property value increases accompanying cleanup averaging from 5.0% to 11.5%; for a welfare interpretation that does not rely on the intertemporal stability of the hedonic price function, a double-difference matching estimator finds even larger effects of up to 15.2%. Our various specifications lead to the common conclusion that Brownfields Program cleanups yield positive, statistically significant, but highly-localized effects on housing prices.

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