Economics Research Seminar | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

Economics Research Seminar

The Value of Piper Water and Sewers: Evidence from 19th Century Chicago

Abstract: We estimate the impact of piped water and sewers on property
values in mid-19th century Chicago. The cost of sewers depends
sensitively on imperceptible variation in grade and such variations in
grade delayed water and sewer service to part of the city. This delay
provides quasi-random variation for causal estimates. We extrapolate
ATE estimates from our natural experiment to the area treated with
water and sewer service during 1874-1880 using a new estimator. Water
and sewer access increases property values by a factor of 2.5. This
exceeds costs by a factor of thirty.

Please join the Economics Department for a research seminar.  This event is open to all Case Western Reserve University  faculty, Ph.D. students, economic majors and minors, and those interested in economics research.  Contact Teresa Kabat at or 216.368.4110 for additional information.

ID: 91031959819
Passcode: DHoXx8R4
Passcode: 48235194
Passcode: 48235194


Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Peter B. Lewis Building
11119 Bellflower Road
Cleveland, OH 44106-7235
United States
Speaker(s): Allison Shertzer, University of Pittsburgh
Sponsored by: Economics Department


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