Economics Working Papers

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Working Paper

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This paper develops and applies a space-based strategy for overcoming the general problem of getting at the demand for non-market goods. It focuses specifically on evaluating one form of environmental quality, distance from EPA designated environmental hazards, via the single-family housing market in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. A spatial two stage hedonic price analysis is used to: (1) estimate the marginal implicit price of distance from air release sites, hazardous waste generators, hazardous waste handlers, superfund sites, and toxic release sites; and (2) estimate a series of demand functions describing the relationship between the price of distance and the quantity consumed. The analysis, which represents a major step forward in the valuation of environmental quality, reveals that the information needed to identify second-stage demand functions is hidden right in plain site — hanging in the aether of the regional housing market.

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