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Directional heterogeneity of environmental disamenities: the impact of crematory operations on adjacent residential values

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A hedonic study of residential house sales in Rawlins, Wyoming, was conducted to estimate the impact of an environmental shock from a new point source upon adjacent residential property values. We use a unique data base of house sale prices and associated house attributes, including structural and neighbourhood characteristics and geographic distances and directions from the source of the shock, atmospheric emissions from a new crematory. Our data spans 27 months of house sales: 7 months before, and 20 months after the startup of crematory operations. Results indicate that proximity, measured both in terms of direction and distance from the crematory, imparts a statistically significant negative impact on average house sale prices-an increase of 0.3 to 3.6% of average sale price for every one-tenth mile increase up to one-half mile in distance away from the crematory, but depending on direction from the crematory. This distance benefit increases somewhat with calendar time only for houses located west of the crematory.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, PA 16601, USA 2: Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA

Publication date: 2010-05-01

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