Environmental health risks and housing values: Evidence from 1,600 toxic plant openings and closings

Janet Currie, Lucas Davis, Michael Greenstone, Walker Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

Regulatory oversight of toxic emissions from industrial plants and understanding about these emissions' impacts are in their infancy. Applying a research design based on the openings and closings of 1,600 industrial plants to rich data on housing markets and infant health, we find that: toxic air emissions affect air quality only within 1 mile of the plant; plant openings lead to 11 percent declines in housing values within 0.5 mile or a loss of about 4.25 million for these households; and a plant's operation is associated with a roughly 3 percent increase in the probability of low birthweight within 1 mile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-709
Number of pages32
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Volume105
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

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