Forgetting the Flood? An Analysis of the Flood Risk Discount over Time

Ajita Atreya, Susana Ferreira and Warren Kriesel


We examine whether property price differentials reflecting flood risk increase following a large flood event, and whether this change is temporary or permanent. We use single-family residential property sales in Dougherty County, Georgia, between 1985 and 2004 in a difference-in-differences spatial hedonic model framework. After the 1994 “flood of the century,” prices of properties in the 100-year floodplain fell significantly. This effect was, however, short-lived. In spatial hedonic models that explicitly incorporate both linear and nonlinear temporal flood-zone effects, we show that the flood risk discount disappeared between four and nine years after the flood, depending upon the specification. (JEL Q51, Q54)