NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Value of Brownfield Remediation

Kevin Haninger, Lala Ma, Christopher Timmins

NBER Working Paper No. 20296
Issued in July 2014
NBER Program(s):   EEE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Program awards grants to redevelop contaminated lands known as brownfields. This paper estimates cleanup benefits based on a nationally representative sample of brownfields using a variety of quasi-experimental techniques. To our knowledge, this is the first paper that combines non-public EPA administrative records with high-resolution, high-frequency housing data to estimate the effects of brownfield cleanup across the entire federal Brownfields Program. We find increases in property values accompanying cleanup, ranging from 4.9% to 11.1%; 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 32.2%. Our various specifications lead to the common conclusion that Brownfields Program cleanups yield a positive, statistically significant, but highly-localized effect on housing prices.

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This paper was revised on November 7, 2014

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20296

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