Do Housing Prices Reflect Environmental Health Risks? Evidence from More than 1600 Toxic Plant Openings and Closings

45 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2013 Last revised: 26 Aug 2013

See all articles by Janet Currie

Janet Currie

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Lucas W. Davis

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Michael Greenstone

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; Becker Friedman Institute for Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Reed Walker

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2013

Abstract

A ubiquitous and largely unquestioned assumption in studies of housing markets is that there is perfect information about local amenities. This paper measures the housing market and health impacts of 1,600 openings and closings of industrial plants that emit toxic pollutants. We find that housing values within one mile decrease by 1.5 percent when plants open, and increase by 1.5 percent when plants close. This implies an aggregate loss in housing values per plant of about $1.5 million. While the housing value impacts are concentrated within 1/2 mile, we find statistically significant infant health impacts up to one mile away.

Suggested Citation

Currie, Janet and Davis, Lucas W. and Greenstone, Michael and Walker, Reed, Do Housing Prices Reflect Environmental Health Risks? Evidence from More than 1600 Toxic Plant Openings and Closings (January 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w18700, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2199776

Janet Currie (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

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Lucas W. Davis

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Michael Greenstone

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

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Becker Friedman Institute for Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Reed Walker

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/rwalker/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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