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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Friebel, Guido / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Tsui, Kevin / Wichardt, Philipp / Zulehner, Christine

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The Value of Land Use Patterns and Preservation Policies

Martin D Heintzelman1

1Clarkson University,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 10, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.2484, May 2010

Publication History

Published Online:
2010-05-05

Abstract

In many communities, land-use and open-space preservation have become important concerns. Using a large dataset containing every home sale in the state of Massachusetts over 8 years, this paper simultaneously measures the impact of the mix of land-uses in the immediate neighborhood of a home on property values and the impact of a locally-implemented program, the Community Preservation Act (CPA), which provides funds for local open-space and historic preservation as well as affordable housing. I exploit the panel nature of the dataset to conduct a difference-in-differences analysis using local as well as house level fixed effects to overcome omitted variables bias. My results indicate that, on average, passage of the CPA reduces property values by about 1.5% in Massachusetts towns. However, when I allow the CPA effect to differ by county, I find some heterogeneity -- it increases property values in some communities and reduces them in others. Variation in local spending priorities appears to have little impact on property values or the effect of the CPA. Finally, I find that cropland and pasture, as well as low-density residential development, are the most preferred local land-uses, and that homes are more expensive as one increases distance to highways and active rail lines.

Keywords: land use; open space; community referenda

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