How Property Markets Determine Welfare Outcomes: An Equilibrium Sorting Model Analysis of Local Environmental Interventions
Environmental and Resource Economics
© The Author(s) 2017. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com . This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Springer via the DOI in this record.
This paper examines the pivotal role played by property markets in determining the magnitude and distribution of welfare changes resulting from localised environmental change. We address that issue using an equilibrium sorting model (ESM) calibrated, by way of example, to the circumstances of a road infrastructure project in the English town of Polegate. Previous ESM research has tended to assume that all households rent property from a fixed property stock. The narrative that arises from those models concerns environmental gentrification, wherein access to environmentally improved locations is appropriated by the relatively wealthy through their ability to out-compete the less wealthy in the rental property market. Our research shows that to be only part of a much more complex story. We develop a model that extends the sophistication with which ESMs replicate property market dynamics, allowing for households to choose whether to rent or purchase their home and introducing greater realism into housing supply responses to changing market conditions. Our research shows that property markets redistribute welfare gains across the population in complex ways in which tenure choice and housing supply constraints play central roles.
This paper has been produced as part of a studentship jointly funded by the ESRC and Department of Transport (Ref ES/G018618/1). The research was additionally supported by the ESRC through the Social and Environmental Economic Research (SEER) project (Ref RES-060-25-0063).
First Online: 13 February 2017