Non-Market Valuation Across Space And Time
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My dissertation provides new evidence and a new approach to identify the extent and implications of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in the valuation of non-market goods. My research adds dimensions to existing work in economics for pricing goods or features of goods when they cannot be transacted directly in the market. In two particularly policy relevant settings, my dissertation uses unusually rich data and a fine-scale identification strategy to examine the dynamics and spatial variation of non-market values. Chapter 1 extends existing small-area estimation techniques to estimate and map spatial variation in marginal returns to household assets in a developing-country setting; substantial variation exists indicating that poverty reduction efforts of asset-specific transfer schemes would improve with a spatially targeted strategy. The second chapter examines spatial heterogeneity in willingness to pay for air quality and uses those calculations to determine the distributional impacts of the 1990 CAAA. In Chapter 3, I exploit exogenous policy variation from the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) in order to identify the speed at which air quality improvements are capitalized into housing prices and how preference-based sorting is related to that speed. As a whole, my dissertation contributes to the understanding of non-market values in such a way that can improve empirical policy evaluation and policy design.