Variation in Valuation: Open Space and Geography

Alex Blanchette, Corey Lang and Jarron VanCeylon


We estimate hedonic valuation models of local open space separately for 215 cities in the Eastern US, and derive city-specific marginal willingness to pay (MWTP). We then examine variation in MWTP and city-level determinants. Valuation is largely local – relatively large changes in income or existing conservation lead to modest changes in MWTP – suggesting validity of benefit transfer across regions. However, geographic features that naturally limit development do correlate with MWTP. As a result, we examine geographic features as instrumental variables, and find that on average steep slope and water/wetlands yield valuation coefficients of opposite sign, consistent with a LATE interpretation.

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