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Two essays on convergence of recycling rates in England and the valuation of landfill disamenities in Birmingham

Ham, Yun-Ju (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis is divided into two studies which investigate two separate topics relating to waste management. The objective of the first study is to test the presence of convergence in recycling rates across local authorities in England over the last decade, 1998-2008. Understanding the distribution of recycling performance across municipalities and its dynamic nature is important for current policy evaluation and future policy decisions. Using various concepts of convergence, a comprehensive analysis of the distribution of recycling rates is provided. Spatial effects are taken into account in the process of convergence since the mechanisms for convergence, such as spillovers of technology or policy ideas, have a geographical dimension. The results indicate the presence of convergence over the whole period in a sense that poor-performing local authorities have the potential to increase recycling activities at a faster rate than initially better-performing authorities. However, with the more aggressive economic instruments in use after 2005, there seem to be two separate convergence clubs which implies convergence within groups but divergence between groups.

The objective of the second study is to investigate public concern over landfill externalities by examining how real and perceived damage from landfill disposal affects the residential property market. Using data on the property sales and landfill sites in the City of Birmingham in 1997, the analysis highlights the presence of long-term impacts of landfill which endure even after site closure by examining external effects from inactive landfill sites as well as active sites. Furthermore, this study deals with a case where properties are simultaneously located near to multiple landfill sites. This issue should not be neglected in the study of a densely populated area like Birmingham. The results of hedonic price regressions reveal strong evidence of landfill impacts reducing property prices. The approach taken here also provides comprehensive estimates of disamenity effects of living near to landfill sites whilst exploring issues like wind direction, nonlinearity of landfill impacts over distance and differential impacts across landfills accepting different types of waste or possessing different age profiles. The results suggest distinctively different features of disamenity from active and historical landfill sites, particularly in their geographical limits.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Maddison, David and Elliott, Robert
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Department of Economics
Subjects:HB Economic Theory
HC Economic History and Conditions
HD Industries. Land use. Labor
HF Commerce
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3445
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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