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Where Does Noise Fall on People? Evidence from the Atlanta Airport

Spatial heterogeneity of the determinants of airport noise is explored using houses sold near the Atlanta airport. Ordered probit locally weighted regressions (OPLWR) produce results substantively different than those using standard ordered probit. We find notable differences in the signs and magnitudes of the parameter estimates for different individual observations using OPLWR. For example, using a standard ordered probit model, the coefficient estimate for the connection between the percentage of neighborhood households headed by a Hispanic and noise is double the average of the OPLWR estimates. Moreover, while the standard ordered probit point estimate is positive, 37 percent of the estimates using OPLWR are negative. Even in relatively small areas, the OPLWR results imply that the standard ordered probit model can generate biased estimates due to ignored heterogeneity among individual houses.

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