Adaptation, Sea Level Rise, and Property Prices in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Patrick Walsh, Charles Griffiths, Dennis Guignet and Heather Klemick

Abstract

Coastal communities are facing the dual threat of increasing sea level rise (SLR) and swelling populations, causing challenging policy problems. To help inform policy makers, this paper explores the property price impact of structures that help protect against SLR, using a novel and spatially explicit dataset of coastal features. Results indicate that adaptation structures can have a significant positive impact on waterfront home prices, with the most vulnerable homes seeing the largest impacts. The Chesapeake Bay is facing increasing pressure from SLR, and this is one of the first papers to report that local property markets are incorporating that threat. (JEL Q51, Q58)

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