Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 175–201 | Cite as

Waste Sites and Property Values: A Meta-Analysis



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.


Meta analysis Hedonic method Property values Waste sites 

JEL Classification

Q24 R14 


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Supplementary material

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10640_2011_9467_MOESM2_ESM.xls (374 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural & Consumer EconomicsUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Office of Institutional Analysis & EffectivenessCollege of William & MaryWilliamsburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsSungshin Women’s UniversitySeoulKorea

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