Waste disposal and housing price : new evidence from the landfill clean-up program in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1795-1815
Number of pages21
Journal / PublicationJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number10
Online published1 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


Accurately measuring the costs and social benefits of environmental programs may have significant public sector policy implications. When considering environmental programs, governments may choose to conduct landfill clean-ups to improve urban living environments and health. However, these programs may generate substantial costs, and it is not clear whether their social benefits can recover these costs. Since the 1990s, the Hong Kong government has restored 13 closed landfills. This study seeks to quantify the short-term social benefits of this landfill clean-up program by measuring its impact on the housing market. Using the difference-in-differences method, we find that housing prices near landfill sites increase about 2.2%, on average, within two years after landfill restoration. However, housing prices show no further change after the restored landfill sites are redeveloped into urban parks and other facilities. We argue that removal of the stigma effect is likely the main channel for housing price hikes. Through a back-of-the-envelope estimation, we find that the social benefits from housing value appreciation can sufficiently recover the program costs.

Research Area(s)

  • Landfill clean-up, housing price, cost–benefit analysis, difference-indifference, stigma effect