Skip to main content

Valuation of Environmental Goods in Profit and Non-Profit Housing Sectors: Evidence from the Rental Market in the City of Zurich


This paper analyses the impact of electromagnetic pollution, noise and air pollution on the rent level for the aggregated and disaggregated market in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. Although there is no conclusive assessment about the health impacts of electromagnetic radiation people are nonetheless concerned about possible long term risks associated with the exposure. This risk perception may affect the price of dwellings located close to antenna. The regression results show that the environmental variables considered have the expected sign and are highly significant, with exception of the presence of an antenna and the air pollution for the non-profit submarket. However, the greatest part of the variation is explained by the structural variables.


  • Adair, A. S., J. N. Berry and W. S. McGreal (1996), “Hedonic Modelling, Housing Submarkets and Residential Valuation”, Journal of Property Research, vol. 13(1), pp. 67–83.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ahlbom, Anders, Elisabeth Cardis, Adele Green, Martha Linet, David Savitz and Anthony Swerdlow (2001), “Review of the Epidemiologic Literature on EMF and health”, Environmental Health Perspectives, 109 (Supplement 6), pp. 911–933.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Anselin, Luc, and Anil K. Bera (1998), “Spatial Dependence in Linear Regression Models with an Introduction to Spatial Econometrics”, in Ullah, A. and Giles (eds), Handbook of Applied Economic Statistics, pp. 237–289.

  • Banfi, Silvia, Massimo Filippini, Andrea Horehájová and Daniela Pióro (2007), „Zahlungsbereitschaft für eine verbesserte Umweltqualität am Wohnort — Schätzungen für die Städte Zürich und Lugano für die Bereiche Luftverschmutzung, Lärmbelastung und Elektrosmog von Mobilfunkantenne“, Zürich.

  • Baranzini, Andrea, and José V. Ramirez (2005), “Paying for Quietness: The Impact of Noise on Geneva Rents”, Urban Studies, vol. 42(4), pp. 633–646.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baranzini, Andrea, Caroline Schaerer, José V. Ramirez and Philippe Thalmann (2006), “Feel It or Measure It — Perceived vs. Measured Noise in Hedonic Models’” Haute école de gestion de Genève, Available at SSRN:

  • Bjørner, Thomas B., Jacob Kronbak and Thomas Lundhede (2003), “Valuation of Noise Reduction — Comparing Results from Hedonic Pricing and Contingent Valuation”, AKF, Institute of Local Government Studies, Denmark.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bourassa, Steven C., Foort Hamelink, Martin Hoesli and Bryan D. MacGregor (1999), “Defining Housing Submarkets”, Journal of Housing Economics, vol. 8(2), pp. 160–183.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bourassa, Steven C., Martin Hoesli and Vincent S. Peng (2003), “Do Housing Submarkets Really Matter?”, Journal of Housing Economic, vol. 12(1), pp. 12–28.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Breckenkamp, Jürgen, Gabriele Berg and Maria Blettner (2003), “Biological Effects on Human Health Due to Radiofrequency/Microwave Exposure: A Synopsis of Cohort Studies”, Radiation and Environmental Biophysics, 42, pp. 141–154.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Champ, Patricia A., Kevin J. Boyle and Thomas C. Brown (eds) (2004), “A Primer on Nonmarket Valuation”, The Economics of Non-Market Goods and Resources, 3, Netherlands.

  • Chattopadhyay, Supid (1999), “Estimating the Demand for Air Quality: New Evidence Based on the Chicago Housing Market”, Land Economics, 75, pp. 22–38.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Court, Andrew T. (1939), “Hedonic Price Indexes with Automobile Examples”, in The Dynamics of Automobile Demand, New York, pp. 99–117.

  • Dale-Johnson, David (1982), “An Alternative Approach to Housing Market Segmentation Using Hedonic Price Data”, Journal of Urban Economics, 11(3), pp. 311–332.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Des Rosiers, Francois (2002), “Power Lines, Visual Encumbrance and House Values: A Microspatial Approach to Impact Measurement”, Journal of Real Estate Research, 23 (3), pp. 275–301.

    Google Scholar 

  • Forrest, David (1991), “An Analysis of House Price Differentials between English Regions”, Regional Studies, 25 (3), pp. 231–238.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gerheuser, F. W. (1999), „Mietpreis-Strukturerhebung 1996”, Swiss Federal Statistical Office, Bulletin 271-9600, Neuchâtel.

  • Green, William H. (2008), “Econometric Analysis”, 6th ed., New Jersey.

  • Griliches, Zvi (1961), “Price Indexes and Quality Change”, Studies in New Methods of Measurement, for the Price Statistics Committee, Federal Reserve Board, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hamilton, Stanley W., and Gregory M. Schwann (1995), “Do High Voltage Electric Transmission Lines Affect Property Value?”, Land Economics, 71 (4), pp. 436–444.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kemeny, Jim, Jan Kersloot and Philippe Thalmann (2005), “Non-Profit Housing Influencing, Leading and Dominating the Unitary Rental Market: Three Case Studies”, Housing Studies, 20(6), pp. 855–872.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kim, Chong Won, Tim T. Phipps and Luc Anselin (2003), “Measuring the Benefits of Air Quality Improvement: A Spatial Hedonic Approach”, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 45, pp. 24–39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Michaels, Gregory R., and Kerry V. Smith (1990), “Market Segmentation and Valuing Amenities with Hedonic Models: The Case of Hazardous Waste Sites”, Journal of Urban Economics, 28, pp. 223–242.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Navrud, Stale (2002), “The State-of-the-Art on Economic Valuation of Noise”, Final Report to European Commission DG Environment, Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Agricultural University of Norway.

  • Nelson, Jon P. (2008), “Hedonic Property Value Studies of Transportation Noise: Aircraft and Road Traffic”, in Baranzini, A., J. Ramirez, C. Schaerer and P. Thalmann (Eds), Hedonic Methods in Housing Markets. Pricing Environmental Amenities and Segregation, New York.

  • Palm, Risa (1978), “Spatial Segmentation of the Urban Housing Market”, Economic Geography, 54(3), pp. 210–221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rossi, Angelo A. (2007), “The Housing Market in Zurich’s Urban Agglomeration”, in European Metropolitan Housing Markets, pp. 145–164, Berlin.

  • Röösli, Martin, Anke Huss and Nadja Schreier (2005), „Repräsentative Befragung zu Sorgen und gesundheitlichen Beschwerden im Zusammenhang mit elektromagnetischen Feldern in der Schweiz“, Universität Bern.

  • Schaerer, Caroline, Andrea Baranzini, José V. Ramirez and Philippe Thalmann (2008), “Using the Hedonic Approach to Value Natural Land Uses in an Urban Area: An Application to Geneva and Zurich”, Economie Publique/Public Economics, 20(2007/1), pp. 147–167.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmid, Peter (2005), „Die Wohnbaugenossenschaften der Schweiz“, unveröffentlichte Masterarbeit am VMI der Universität Freiburg.

  • Schnare, Ann B., and Raymond J. Struyk (1976), “Segmentation in Urban Housing Markets”, Journal of Urban Economics, 3, pp. 146–166.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Siegrist, Michael, Timothy C. Earle and Heinz Gutscher (2003), “Test of a Trust and Confidence Model in the Applied Context of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Risks”, Risk Analysis, 23, pp. 705–716.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Siegrist, Michael, Timothy C. Earle, Heinz Gutscher and Carmen Keller (2005), “Perception of Mobile Phone and Base Station Risks”, Risk Analysis, 25(5), pp. 1253–1264.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Thalmann, Philippe (1987), «Explication empirique des loyers lausannois», Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 129, pp. 123, 47–70.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thalmann, Philippe (1993), “How Expensive is Appropriate Housing?”, Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 129, pp. 23–38.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thalmann, Philippe (2003), “ ‘House Poor’ or Simply ‘Poor’?”, Journal of Housing Economics, 12, pp. 291–317.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Watkins, Craig A. (2001), “The Definition and Identification of Housing Sub-markets”, Environmental and Planning A, 33, pp. 2235–2253.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zabel, Jeffrey E., and Katherine A. Kiel (2000), “Estimating the Demand for Air Quality in Four U.S. Cities”, Land Economics, 76 (2), pp. 174–194.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Acknowledgements: The project on which this paper is based was supported by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The authors wish to thank to Mehdi Farsi, Martin Jakob and the editors for their thoughtful and useful comments. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors. Any remaining errors and omissions are the responsibility of the authors.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Banfi, S., Filippini, M. & Horehájová, A. Valuation of Environmental Goods in Profit and Non-Profit Housing Sectors: Evidence from the Rental Market in the City of Zurich. Swiss J Economics Statistics 144, 631–654 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: