How the Japanese Rental Housing Market Responds to Carcinogenic Risk

The policy instruments that provide information on a firm’s or facility’s environmental performance, such as the U.S. Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register system (PRTRs) used in some European countries and Japan, play an important role in encouraging firms or facilities to improve their environmental performance, if investors, consumers and residents recognize their environmental performance. This study uses a hedonic approach to explore how the Japanese rental housing market responds to carcinogenic risk arising from releases and transfers of chemical substances produced and used at close facilities. We found that residents do not perceive carcinogenic risk generated more than 1.0 km away from their residence and that they seem to recognize the increased carcinogenic risk at distances from 0.5 km to 1.0 km away; a 1% increase in carcinogenic risk reduces the average rent by 0.0007%. The distance at which residents perceive the risk arising from such facilities is less than in previous studies. This suggests that the risk perception recognized in previous studies may capture the other externalities in addition to the chemical risk because the risk is measured by the distance.

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