Can Understanding Spatial Equilibria Enhance Benefit Transfers for Environmental Policy Evaluation?
Environmental & Resource Economics, 2018, vol. 69, issue 3, 591-608
Abstract A conceptual model of consumer sorting in markets for housing, labor and health care is outlined and used to make three points about how benefit transfers are used for environmental policy evaluation. First, the standard approach to assessing benefits of air quality improvements by transferring the value of a statistical life from labor market studies embeds several untested (but testable) assumptions. Second, if the cost of an environmental policy exceeds its capitalized effect on housing prices, then the capitalization effect is an insufficient statistic for determining whether benefits exceed costs. Third, there are several ways in which equilibrium sorting models may be usefully extended to assess distributional welfare effects of environmental policies.
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