Feel it or Measure it - Perceived vs. Measured Noise in Hedonic Models

Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol. 15D, No. 8, pp. 473-482, December 2010

26 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2006 Last revised: 4 Jul 2011

See all articles by Andrea Baranzini

Andrea Baranzini

University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland - Geneva School of Business Administration

Caroline Schaerer

Geneva School of Business Administration

José V. Ramirez

University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland - Geneva School of Business Administration

Philippe Thalmann

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne - Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Date Written: October 1, 2006

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to compare the use of scientific and perceived noise measures in a hedonic model framework. Although in theory the use of subjective variables is recommended, most of the empirical applications use scientific noise variables. Using three different databases, we are able to obtain a relative large sample of about 2800 apartments located in Geneva, Switzerland. The sample contains both scientific measures and perceived noise data, as well as structural and accessibility variables. However, in order to compare scientific and perceived noise measures we need them expressed in comparable units, e.g. dB(A). Since no such data is available, we refer to the acoustic literature to transform a categorical variable on perceived external noise into a measure directly comparable to a scientific measure of noise in dB(A). We show that a clear relationship appears between the scientific measure of road traffic noise and the transformation of the perceived external noise in dB(A). From this relationship, it is interesting to note that: 1) There is a great variability in the perception of noise when the scientific noise level is relatively low; and 2) The systematic bias of subjective overestimation of low probability events that has been highlighted in the risk literature also parallels with our findings here concerning the perceived exposure to external noise. Having both noise measures in comparable units, we are able to analyse their performance in the context of the hedonic model. We conclude that for moderate to high noise levels, the scientific measures of noise safely approximate the individual perception of it. This last result is very promising from a policy-making point of view, for which the use of scientific measures are more convenient and transferable than subjective perceptions.

Keywords: Noise, measured noise, perceived noise, housing market, hedonic model, hedonic approach, external cost, monetary valuation, geographical information system (GIS)

JEL Classification: Q5, Q51, D61, R31

Suggested Citation

Baranzini, Andrea and Schaerer, Caroline and Ramirez, José V. and Thalmann, Philippe, Feel it or Measure it - Perceived vs. Measured Noise in Hedonic Models (October 1, 2006). Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol. 15D, No. 8, pp. 473-482, December 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=937259

Andrea Baranzini (Contact Author)

University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland - Geneva School of Business Administration ( email )

CH-1227 Geneva
Switzerland
+41-22-388 1718 (Phone)
+41-22-388 1701 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://campus.hesge.ch/baranzia/

Caroline Schaerer

Geneva School of Business Administration ( email )

CH-1227 Geneva
Switzerland

José V. Ramirez

University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland - Geneva School of Business Administration ( email )

CH-1227 Geneva
Switzerland

Philippe Thalmann

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne - Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) ( email )

EPFL ENAC IA LEURE
Station 16
Lausanne, CH-1015
Switzerland
+41 21 693 7321 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://people.epfl.ch/philippe.thalmann

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