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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

what is the value of the train?

A paper in the current German Economic Review investigates the impact of intercity rail connections on local property values. This is potentially important as more public dollars are spent on creating intercity train links - if people don't value them then why do it (other than obvious rent-seeking)?

Here is the abstract:

Abstract. This paper is the first to provide a micro-level analysis of the impact of intercity rail connections on property prices. We use the variation in mainline accessibility provided by the reorganization of the rail system in post-unification Berlin to isolate accessibility effects from correlated individual location effects. Evidence does not support the existence of localized effects on location productivity and household utility. While the city, since unification, has undergone significant changes in its spatial structure, these effects cannot be attributed to the new transport concept. Our findings question the justification for committing substantial public funds to downtown rail redevelopment projects.

The Train has Left the Station: Do Markets Value Intracity Access to Intercity Rail Connections? - Ahlfeldt - 2010 - German Economic Review - Wiley Online Library

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