Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Fall 12-12-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

H Spencer Banzhaf

Second Advisor

Stefano Carattini

Third Advisor

Carlianne Patrick

Fourth Advisor

William Sabol


This dissertation has three chapters in the field of urban and environmental economics. Chapter one studies the relationship between home prices and crime rates, comparing different sources of crime data. Chapter 2, co-authored with Stefano Carattini, Andreas Löschel, and Béla Figge, studies the impact of local building regulations on the adoption of solar photovoltaics in Germany. Chapter 3 studies the relationship between COVID-19 policy stringency and levels of saltwater fishing.

Chapter 1: Hedonic analysis of home prices is a common technique for estimating the value of local public goods such as public safety or environmental quality. In this line of research, measure- ment error bias is a frequent concern due to the complex, multi-faceted nature of a neighborhood. In this study, I conduct a hedonic analysis measuring the price of public safety by incorporating 2 different sources of crime data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program: (1) jurisdiction- level crime rates from the SRS, and (2) incident-level, geo-coded crime data from the NIBRS.

Chapter 2: Conflicting societal goals can lead to national and local policies that are at odds with each other. National policies promoting the adoption of solar photovoltaics may be counteracted by local policies defining the aesthetics of the built environment. Using unique data from Germany, a leader in solar adoption, we document the impact that the rise in municipalities amending their building codes to restrict solar installations, often with an eye toward preserving the historical nature of the town, has on solar adoption. We combine a unique survey of municipalities regarding such building codes with administrative data on all solar installations in Germany.

Chapter 3: Governments responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with different policies to curtail the spread of the virus. We show how sportfishing levels are related to the stringency of Covid-19 policies. Specifically, we relate the total number of resident sportfishing trips taken each month in each of 16 U.S. states to a state-level index of COVID policy stringency. We model the number of recreational fishing trips taken in each state-month using a fixed effect Poisson regression model with state-specific seasonality and time trends.