Department of Economics
PO Box 90097
Durham NC 27708-0097
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2011||Valuing the Benefits of Superfund Site Remediation: Three Approaches to Measuring Localized Externalities|
with Shanti Gamper-Rabindran, Christopher Timmins: w16655
We apply three complementary approaches designed to identify the localized effects of Superfund site remediation under the CERCLA, examining data at the level of (i) the census tract (paying attention to within tract heterogeneity), (ii) the census block, and (iii) individual house transaction. Our analysis of the within-tract housing value distribution detects statistically and economically significant appreciation in the lower tails resulting from hazardous waste cleanup; deletion of a site raises tract-level housing values by 18.2% at the 10th percentile, 15.4% at the median, and 11.4% at the 60th percentile. These tract results are confirmed by (i) house transaction data that show cheaper houses within each tract are more likely to be exposed to waste sites within one kilometer, expl...