Evidence of environmental migration

  • Cameron T
  • McConnaha I
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Abstract

In hedonic property value models, economists typically assume that changing perceptions of environmental risk should be captured by changes in housing prices. For long-lived risks emanating from point sources, however, many other features of neighborhoods seem to change as well. Households relocate in response to changes in perceived environmental quality. We consider spatial patterns in selected census variables over three decades in the vicinity of four Superfund sites. We find many examples of moving and staying behavior, inferred from changes in the relative concentrations of a wide range of socio-demographic groups in census tracts near the site versus farther away.

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