Friday, March 22, 2013

The long-run impact of nuclear waste shipments on the property market: Evidence from a quasi-experiment

We use evidence from a quasi-experiment – the shipping of radioactive spent nuclear fuel by train through South Carolina – to assess whether many years of incident-free transport of nuclear waste no longer negatively affects market valuation of properties along the route. Using Charleston County (SC) property sales data over 13 years we find, to the contrary, that the negative impact of the nuclear waste shipments on property values continues to be felt over the long run. The perception of risk from nuclear waste transport appears to be resilient. We contribute methodologically by comparing well-defined treatment and control groups of properties to estimate the average treatment effect of the nuclear waste shipment program. The results are affirmed in both a pooled cross-section sample, as well as a panel data sample of repeated property sales.  The three-year moving average of the diminution rises from about 4% to 9% then declines to 7%.
Full-size image (47 K) 
Fig. 3. Annual average treatment effects (ATT) and two-standard deviation confidence intervals: 3-year (sample-weighted) moving average. Top panel: average treatment effect for treated properties (% of sale price). Bottom panel: distance effect in ATT: % increase in sale price of treated properties per km away from SNF route 
a Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4220, United States; Corresponding author. Fax: +1 979 845 4155 
b Department of Political Science, University of Oklahoma, United States
c College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, University of Oklahoma, United States
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management via Elsevier Science Direct 
Volume 65, Issue 1; January, 2013; Pages 56–73
Keywords: Spent nuclear fuel; Average treatment effect; Difference-in-differences; Pooled cross-section; Panel

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