Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

First Advisor

James Opaluch

Abstract

This dissertation uses the hedonic pricing model to study the impact of lake water quality and wind turbines on Rhode Island house sales prices. The first two manuscripts are on lake water quality and use RI house sales transactions from 1988-2012. The third studies wind turbines using RI house sales transactions from 2000-2013. The first study shows that good lake water quality increases lakefront property price premium. It also shows that environmental amenities, such as forests, substitute for lake amenity as the property’s distance from the lake increases. The second lake water quality study incorporates time variables to examine how environmental amenity values change over time. The results show that property price premium associated with good lake water quality does not change as it is constant in proportion to housing prices with short term economic fluctuations. The third study shows that wind turbines have a negative and significant impact on housing prices. However, this is highly location specific and varies with neighborhood demographics. All three studies have policy implications which are discussed in detail in the manuscripts below.

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