Skip to main content

Waste Sites and Property Values: A Meta-Analysis

Abstract

Recent studies suggest that some of the most contaminated waste sites in the United States have idiosyncratic or no discernable effects on nearby property values. This paper presents a meta-analysis of the literature measuring the economic impact of sites harboring waste materials on real estate values. A sample of 46 North American studies issued from 1971 to 2008 yields 129 distinct estimates that survive outlier diagnostics. The estimation results are highly robust and significant across estimators and specifications. They suggest that all classes of waste sites affect real estate prices, but sites classified as hazardous, especially aquatic hazardous sites, are associated with the greatest discounts. The estimated impacts of nonhazardous waste and nuclear sites are not statistically different from one another. Surprisingly, estimated impacts associated with sites included on the EPA’s National Priority List (NPL) are generally smaller (although still statistically significant) than those for non-NPL hazardous waste sites. The estimates for sites in Canada and Mountain, Middle Atlantic, and South Atlantic states exceed those for other regions. Larger impact areas and aggregated data, such as census block observations, are associated with lesser estimates.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References (* Denotes papers used in the meta-analysis)

  • *Adler KJ, Anderson RC, Cook ZL, Cower RC, Ferguson AR, Vickers MJ (1982) The benefits of regulating hazardous waste disposal: land values as an estimator. US Environmental Protection Agency report under contracts #68-01-5838 and #68-01-6543

  • *Anstine J (2003) Property values in a low populated area when dual noxious facilities are present. Growth Change 34: 345–358

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Belsley DA, Kuh E, Welsch RE (1980) Regression diagnostics: identifying influential data and sources of collinearity. Wiley, New York

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • *Bleich DH, Findlay C, Phillips GM (1991) An evaluation of the impact of a well-designed landfill on surrounding property values. Appraisal J 59: 247–252

    Google Scholar 

  • *Bouvier RA, Halstead JM, Conway KS, Manalo AB (2000) The effect of landfills on rural residential property values: some empirical evidence. J Reg Anal Policy 30: 23–37

    Google Scholar 

  • Boyle KJ, Poe GL, Bergstrom JC (1994) What do we know about groundwater values? Preliminary implications from a meta analysis of contingent-valuation studies. Am J Agric Econ 76: 1055–1061

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Braden JB, Patunru AA, Chattopadhyay S, Mays N (2004) Contaminant cleanup in the Waukegan Harbor Area of Concern: homeowner attitudes and economic benefits. J Great Lakes Res 30: 474–491

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Braden JB, Taylor LO, Won D, Mays D, Cangelosi A, Patunru AA (2008a) Economics benefits of remediating the Buffalo River, NY area of concern. J Great Lakes Res 34: 631–648

    Google Scholar 

  • *Braden JB, Taylor LO, Won D, Mays N, Cangelosi A, Patunru AA (2008b) Economics benefits of remediating the Sheboygan River, WI area of concern. J Great Lakes Res 34: 649–660

    Google Scholar 

  • Braden JB, Taylor LO, Won D (2010) A test of proximity as a proxy for environmental exposure in hedonic models. Working paper, Dept. Agr. Cons. Econ., U. IL, Urbana

  • *Brasington D, Hite D (2005) Demand for environmental quality: a spatial hedonic analysis. Reg Sci Urban Econ 33: 57–82

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Cameron T (2006) Directional heterogeneity in distance profiles in hedonic property value models. J Environ Econ Manage 51: 26–45

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Chattopadhyay S, Braden JB, Patunru AA (2005) Benefits of hazardous waste cleanup: new evidence from survey- and market-based property value approaches. Contemp Econ Policy 23: 357–375

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Clark DE, Michelbrink L, Allison T, Metz WC (1997) Nuclear power plants and residential housing prices. Growth Change 28: 496–519

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cook RD, Weisberg S (1982) Residuals and influence in regression. Chapman and Hall, London

    Google Scholar 

  • Cropper ML, Deck L, Kishor N, McConnell KE (1993) Valuing product attributes using single market data: a comparison of hedonic and discrete choice approaches. Rev Econ Stat 75: 225–232

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Dale L, Murdoch JC, Thayer MA, Waddell PA (1999) Do property values rebound from environmental stigmas? Evidence from Dallas. Land Econ 77: 311–326

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Deaton J, Hoehn JJ (2004) Hedonic analysis of hazardous waste sites in the presence of other urban disamenities. Environ Sci Policy 7: 499–508

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Executive Office of the President (2007) Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993, as amended by E.O. 13258 of February 26, 2002 and E.O. 13422 of January 18, 2007. Regulatory planning and review. Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC

  • Faber S (1998) Undesirable facilities and property values: a summary of empirical studies. Ecol Econ 24: 1–14

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Folland ST, Hough RR (1991) Nuclear power plants and the value of agricultural land. Land Econ 67: 30–36

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Freeman AM (1974) On estimating air pollution control benefits from land value studies. J Environ Econ Manage 1: 74–83

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Freeman AM (2003) The measurement of environmental and resource values, 2nd edn. RFF Press, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • *Gamble HB, Downing RH (1982) Effects of nuclear power plants on residential property values. J Region Sci 22: 457–478

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Gawande K, Jenkins-Smith H (2001) Nuclear waste transport and residential property values: estimating the effects of perceived risks. J Environ Econ Manage 42: 207–233

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Gayer T, Hamilton JT, Viscusi VK (2000) Private value of risk tradeoffs at Superfund sites: housing market evidence on learning about risk. Rev Econ Stat 82: 439–451

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Glass GV (1976) Primary, secondary and meta-analysis of research. Educ Res 5: 3–8

    Google Scholar 

  • Greenberg M, Hughes J (1993) Impact of hazardous waste sites on property value and land use: tax assessors’ appraisal. Appraisal J 61: 42–51

    Google Scholar 

  • Greenstone M, Gallagher J (2008) Does hazardous waste matter? Evidence from the housing market and the Superfund program. Quart J Econ 123: 951–1004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Guntermann KL (1995) Sanitary Landfills, Stigma and industrial land values. J Real Estate Res 10: 531–542

    Google Scholar 

  • *Havlicek J, Richardson R, Davies L (1971) Measuring the impacts of solid waste disposal site location on property values. Am J Agric Econ 53: 869

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Hite D (2006) A hedonic model of environmental justice. Working paper, Auburn University

  • *Hite D, Chern W, Hitzhusen F, Randall A (2001) Property-value impacts of an environmental disamenity: the case of landfills. J Real Estate Financ Econ 22: 180–202

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Ho C, Hite D (2005) Economic impact of environmental health risks on house values in southeast region: a county level analysis. Working paper, Auburn University

  • *Ihlanfeldt KR, Taylor LO (2004) Externality effects of small-scale hazardous waste sites: evidence from urban commercial property markets. J Environ Econ Manage 47: 117–139

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • International Joint Commission (2003) The status of restoration activities in the Great Lakes areas of concern. Windsor, Ontario

  • Johnson J, DiNardo J (1997) Econometric methods, 4th edn. McGraw-Hill, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • *Kaufman DA, Cloutier NR (2006) The impact of small brownfields and greenspaces on residential property values. J Real Estate Financ Econ 33: 19–30

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Ketkar K (1992) Hazardous waste sites and property values in the State of New Jersey. Appl Econ 24: 647–659

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Kiel KA (1995) Measuring the impact of the discovery and cleaning of identified hazardous waste sites on housing values. Land Econ 71: 428–435

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kiel KA, Boyle A (2001) A survey of house price hedonic studies of the impact of environmental externalities. J Real Estate Lit 9: 117–144

    Google Scholar 

  • *Kiel KA, McClain KT (1995a) Housing prices during siting decision stages: the case of an incinerator from rumor through operation. J Environ Econ Manage 28: 241–255

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kiel KA, McClain KT (1995b) The effect of an incinerator siting on housing appreciation rates. J Urban Econ 37: 311–323

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Kiel KA, McClain KT (1996) House price recovery and stigma after a failed siting. Appl Econ 28: 1351–1358

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kiel KA, Williams M (2007) The impact of Superfund sites on local property values: are all sites the same?. J Urban Econ 61: 170–192

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Kiel KA, Zabel J (2001) Estimating the economic benefit of cleaning up Superfund sites: the case of Woburn, Massachusetts. J Real Estate Financ Econ 22: 163–184

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Kohlhase JE (1992) The impact of toxic waste sites on housing values. J Urban Econ 30: 1–26

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Lim JS, Missios P (2007) Does size really matter? Landfill scale impacts on property values. Appl Econ Lett 14: 719–723

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Longo A, Alberini A (2006) What are the effects of contamination risks on commercial and industrial properties? Evidence from Baltimore, Maryland. J Environ Plan Manage 49: 713–737

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Luttik J (2000) The value of trees, water and open space as reflected by house prices in the Netherlands. Landsc Urban Plan 48: 161–167

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McCluskey JJ, Rausser GC (2003a) Hazardous waste sites and housing appreciation rates. J Environ Econ Manage 45: 166–176

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *McCluskey JJ, Rausser GC (2003b) Stigmatized asset value: is it temporary or long-term. Rev Econ Stat 85: 276–285

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *McMillen DP (2006) The benefits of environmental improvements in a low-income area: the Grand Calumet River dredging plan in Gary Indiana. In: Carruthers J, Mundy B (eds) Environmental evaluation: interregional and intraregional perspectives. Ashgate, Burlington, pp 147–162

    Google Scholar 

  • *McMillen DP, Thorsnes P (2000) The reaction of housing prices to information on Superfund sites: a semiparametric analysis of the Tacoma, Washington market. Adv Economet 14: 201–228

    Google Scholar 

  • *Mendelsohn R, Hellerstein D, Huguenin M, Unsworth R, Brazee R (1992) Measuring hazardous waste damages with panel models. J Environ Econ Manage 22: 259–271

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Messer KD, Schulze WD, Hackett KF, Cameron T, McClelland G (2006) Can stigma explain large property value losses? The psychology and economics of Superfund. Environ Resour Econ 33: 299–344

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Michaels GR, Smith VK (1990) Market segmentation and valuing amenities with hedonic models: the case of hazardous waste sites. J Urban Econ 28: 223–242

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mrozek RJ, Taylor LO (2002) What determines the value of life? A meta-analysis. J Policy Anal Manage 21: 253–270

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Nelson JP (1981) Three mile island and residential property values: empirical analysis and policy implication. Land Econ 57: 363–372

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Nelson J (2004) Meta-analysis of airport noise and hedonic property values. J Transport Econ Policy 38: 1–28

    Google Scholar 

  • Nelson JP, Kennedy P (2009) The use (and abuse) of meta-analysis in environmental and natural resource economics: an assessment. Environ Resour Econ 42(3): 345–377

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Nelson AC, Genereux J, Genereux M (1992) Price effects of landfills on house values. Land Econ 68: 359–365

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Nelson AC, Genereux J, Genereux M (1997) Price effects of landfills on different house value strata. J Urban Plan Dev 123: 59–67

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Palmquist RB (1982) Measuring environmental effects on property values without hedonic regressions. J Urban Econ 11: 333–347

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Ready RC (2005) Do landfills always depress nearby property values? Working paper, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, Pennsylvania State University

  • *Reichert AK (1997) Impact of a toxic waste Superfund site on property values. Appraisal J 65: 381–392

    Google Scholar 

  • *Reichert AK, Small M, Mahanty S (1992) The impact of landfills on residential property values. J Real Estate Res 7: 297–314

    Google Scholar 

  • Ridker RG (1967) Economic costs of air pollution: studies in measurement. Praeger, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Rosen S (1974) Hedonic prices and implicit markets: product differentiation in pure competition. J Polit Econ 82: 34–55

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Simons RA (2006) When bad things happen to good property. Environmental Law Institute Press, Washington, DC

    Google Scholar 

  • Simons RA, Saginor J (2006) A meta-analysis of the effect of environmental contamination and positive amenities on residential real estate values. J Real Estate Res 28: 71–104

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith VK, Desvousges WH (1986) The value of avoiding a LULU: hazardous waste disposal sites. Rev Econ Stat 68: 293–299

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith VK, Huang J (1995) Can markets value air quality? A meta-analysis of hedonic property value models. J Polit Econ 103: 209–227

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith VK, Kaoru Y (1990) Signals or noise? Explaining the variation in recreation benefit estimates. Am J Agric Econ 72: 419–433

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • *Smolen GE, Moore G, Conway LV (1992) Economic effects of hazardous chemical and proposed radioactive waste landfills on surrounding real estate values. J Real Estate Res 7: 283–295

    Google Scholar 

  • Stanley TD (2001) Wheat from chaff: meta-analysis as quantitative literature review. J Econ Perspect 15: 131–150

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Taylor LO (2003) The hedonic method. In: Champ PA, Boyle KJ, Brown TC (eds) A primer on nonmarket valuation. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 331–393

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • *Thayer M, Albers H, Rahmatian M (1992) The benefits of reducing exposure to waste disposal site: a hedonic housing value approach. J Real Estate Res 7(3): 265–282

    Google Scholar 

  • USEPA (1996) Superfund today, Washington, DC, EPA 540-K-96/004

  • USEPA (2008a) Introduction to the hazard ranking system (HRS). http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/npl_hrs/hrsint.htm. Accessed Apr 27

  • USEPA (2008b) Superfund information system. http://cfpub.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/srchsites.cfm. Accessed Apr 27

  • *Zegarac M, Muir T (1998) The effect of RAP related restoration and parkland development on residential property values: a Hamilton Harbour case study. Environment Canada, Burlington

  • Zeiss C, Atwater J (1989) Waste facility impacts on residential property values. J Urban Plan Dev 115: 64–80

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to John B. Braden.

Electronic Supplementary Material

The Below are the Electronic Supplementary Material.

ESM 1 (DOC 545 kb)

ESM 2 (XLS 374 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Braden, J.B., Feng, X. & Won, D. Waste Sites and Property Values: A Meta-Analysis. Environ Resource Econ 50, 175–201 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-011-9467-9

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-011-9467-9

Keywords

  • Meta analysis
  • Hedonic method
  • Property values
  • Waste sites

JEL Classification

  • Q24
  • R14