Who Cares? Future Sea Level Rise and House Prices

Olga Filippova, Cuong Nguyen, Ilan Noy and Michael Rehm


Sea level rise is a consequence of climate change. Using evidence from a coastal community, we pose a question: Do people factor in warnings by scientists and governments about sea level rise when making their investment decisions? Using a difference-in-differences framework, we examine if disclosure of future risks affects coastal property prices. New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast published detailed projections of coastal erosion in 2012 and was forced to remove them by the courts in 2014. Results indicate posting of this information had an insignificant impact on prices, suggesting people do not factor in long-term risks of sea level rise, as future risks are not capitalized in prices. (JEL Q54, R38)

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