The Value of Brownfield Remediation
NBER Working Paper No. 20296
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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This paper was revised on September 30, 2015
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20296
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