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Evaluating the spatial and temporal distribution of beltway effects on housing prices using difference-in-differences methods

Abstract

This study investigates the temporal and spatial distribution of the causal impacts of major beltway facilities on housing prices using quasi-experimental econometric approaches. Difference-in-differences methods are employed to quantify construction and anticipation effects and explore how impacts evolve and differ over space and time. The study particularly focuses on spatial variations and seeks to identify potentially heterogeneous effects in the inner and outer sides of a beltway. Two methods for control group selection are adopted to test the robustness of the estimated treatment effects. Using data from three major beltway facilities in the US, we find that impacts are nonlinear with distance from an interchange, with the maximum effect found between a 0.75 and 1.5-mile distance. In two of the studied beltway projects, properties outside the beltway experienced significant positive effects, while effects on properties inside the beltway were negative within the first 0.25 miles from an interchange and insignificant thereafter. We also find that effects during construction differ by project, while after the end of construction, prices typically increase and fully materialize after 6–8 years. This research makes a significant contribution to the very limited literature on the causal identification of highway impacts on surrounding properties as well as the small group of studies that have investigated the spatial extent and distribution of transportation-induced effects. The results can be used to inform stakeholders and planning decisions of future highway facilities.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the NCDOT Strategic Initiatives and Program Support Director, Burt Tasaico, for his valuable insights and support throughout this research project. The authors are also grateful to Professor Harrison Fell, North Carolina State University, who served on the first author’s masters committee, for his valuable feedback on this study. Last, the authors are thankful to participants at the 2018 North American Regional Science Conference and the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board for helpful comments.

Funding

This research was funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The contents of this article reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of either NCDOT or the Federal Highway Administration at the time of publication.

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JM: methodology, formal analysis, writing—original draft; EB: conceptualization, methodology, writing—review and editing, supervision, project administration, funding acquisition.

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Correspondence to John Murray.

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Murray, J., Bardaka, E. Evaluating the spatial and temporal distribution of beltway effects on housing prices using difference-in-differences methods. Transportation (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-021-10233-0

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Keywords

  • Difference-in-differences
  • Spatial distribution
  • Anticipation effects
  • Construction effects
  • Housing prices
  • Beltway