The Value of a Healthy Home: Lead Paint Remediation and Housing Values

38 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2017

See all articles by Stephen B. Billings

Stephen B. Billings

University of Colorado - Boulder

Kevin Schnepel

The University of Sydney; IZA

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The presence of lead paint significantly impairs cognitive and behavioral development, yet little is known about the value to households of avoiding this residence-specific environmental health risk. In this paper, we estimate the benefits of lead-paint remediation on housing prices. Using data on all homes that applied to a HUD-funded program in Charlotte, North Carolina, we adopt a difference-in-differences estimator that compares values among remediated properties with those for which an inspection does not identify a lead paint hazard. Results indicate large returns for public and private investment in remediation with each $1 spent on lead remediation generating $2.60 in benefits as well as a reduction in residential turnover.

Keywords: lead paint exposure, lead hazard remediation, value of environmental health risk, urban environmental health

JEL Classification: Q51, Q52, Q58, R21, R23, R31, I18

Suggested Citation

Billings, Stephen B. and Schnepel, Kevin, The Value of a Healthy Home: Lead Paint Remediation and Housing Values. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10873, Available at SSRN: or

Stephen B. Billings (Contact Author)

University of Colorado - Boulder ( email )

Leeds School of Business
Koelbel Building
Boulder, CO US 80309
United States

Kevin Schnepel

The University of Sydney ( email )

University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

IZA ( email )

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