Open Access

Property Values, Water Quality, and Benefit Transfer: A Nationwide Meta-analysis

Dennis Guignet, Matthew T. Heberling, Michael Papenfus and Olivia Griot


We construct a comprehensive, publicly available meta-dataset based on 36 hedonic studies that examine the effects of water quality on housing values in the United States. The meta-dataset includes 656 unique estimates and entails a cluster structure that accounts for price effects at different distances. Focusing on water clarity, we estimate reduced-form meta-regressions that account for within-market dependence, statistical precision, housing market and waterbody heterogeneity, publication bias, and methodological practices. Although we find evidence of systematic heterogeneity, the out-of-sample transfer errors are large. We discuss the implications for benefit transfer and future work to improve transfer performance.


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