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

Ajita Atreya, Susana Ferreira and Warren Kriesel

Abstract

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)