Valuing urban wetlands : a property pricing approach Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0z708z92j

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  • Wetlands play an important role in our social and economic well being. Many services wetlands provide, such as wildlife habitat, recreation, and aesthetics, are collective goods. Because these services are not represented in a market, an over supply of wetlands converted to other uses and an under supply of protected wetlands may result. In order to improve wetland resource allocation decisions, nonmarket valuation techniques can be used to estimate the economic value of wetland attributes that represent collective goods. Using the hedonic property pricing approach, this study estimates the value of wetland environmental amenities in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. Detailed residential housing and wetland data are used to relate the sales price of a residential property to the structural characteristics of the property, neighborhood attributes in which the property is located, and amenity values of wetlands and other environmental characteristics. The measures of primary interest are distance to four different wetland types (open water, emergent vegetation, scrub shrub, and forested). Other environmental variables evaluated include size of nearest wetland and proximity to parks, lakes, streams, and rivers. The results of the hedonic price function analysis indicate that wetlands influence the value of residential property and that the degree of influence varies by wetland type. The results also show that wetlands influence property values differently than other amenity generating features such as parks, lakes, rivers, and streams. The results concerning the influence on price of proximity to specific wetland types were mixed. For some wetlands, proximity had a positive effect on sales price, while for others, proximity had either a negative relationship or no effect. The estimated marginal implicit prices on wetland proximity were sensitive to the function form used. In addition to estimating the hedonic price functions, second-stage regression analysis was used to estimate the willingness-to-pay function for wetland size. Example welfare effects are computed using the estimated willingness-to-pay function. The estimated willingness-to-pay function appears reasonable based on the expectation that residents have a small, but significant, positive willingness to pay larger wetlands.
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