Lucija Muehlenbachs

Department of Economics
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 1N4
and Resources for the Future

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Calgary

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2017The Accident Externality from Trucking
with Stefan Staubli, Ziyan Chu: w23791
The presence of a heavy truck on the road can impose an externality if accidents occur that would not have otherwise. We find each additional truck on the road increases the risk of a truck accident—but also, at an even higher rate, the risk of a car-on-car collision. Our estimates imply two percent of all car-on-car collisions can be attributed to trucks on the road. This negative externality falls on all road users through higher car insurance premiums: one truck, driving for a year in the same zip code, increases the insurance premium of each new enrollee by $0.48/year.
May 2016Price Regulation and Environmental Externalities: Evidence from Methane Leaks
with Catherine Hausman: w22261
We estimate expenditures by US natural gas distribution firms to reduce natural gas leaks. Reducing leaks averts commodity losses (valued at around $5/Mcf), but also climate damages ($27/Mcf) because the primary component of natural gas is methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In addition to this private/social wedge, incentives to abate are weakened by this industry's status as a regulated natural monopoly: current price regulations allow many distribution firms to pass the cost of any leaked gas on to their customers. Our estimates imply that too little is spent repairing leaks—we estimate expenditures substantially below $5/Mcf, i.e. less than the commodity value of the leaked gas. In contrast, expenditures on accelerated pipeline replacement are in general higher than the combination of ga...

Published: Catherine Hausman & Lucija Muehlenbachs, 2019. "Price Regulation and Environmental Externalities: Evidence from Methane Leaks," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol 6(1), pages 73-109.

January 2014The Housing Market Impacts of Shale Gas Development
with Elisheba Spiller, Christopher Timmins: w19796
Using data from Pennsylvania and New York and an array of empirical techniques to control for confounding factors, we recover hedonic estimates of property value impacts from shale gas development that vary with geographic scale, water source, well productivity, and visibility. Results indicate large negative impacts on nearby groundwater-dependent homes, while piped-water-dependent homes exhibit smaller positive impacts, suggesting benefits from lease payments. At a broader geographic scale, we find that new wellbores increase property values, but these effects diminish over time. Undrilled permits cause property values to decrease. Results have implications for the debate over regulation of shale gas development.

Published: Lucija Muehlenbachs & Elisheba Spiller & Christopher Timmins, 2015. "The Housing Market Impacts of Shale Gas Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(12), pages 3633-3659, December. citation courtesy of

September 2012Shale Gas Development and Property Values: Differences across Drinking Water Sources
with Elisheba Spiller, Christopher Timmins: w18390
While shale gas development can result in rapid local economic development, negative externalities associated with the process may adversely affect the prices of nearby homes. We utilize a triple-difference estimator and exploit the public water service area boundary in Washington County, Pennsylvania to identify the housing capitalization of groundwater risk, differentiating it from other externalities, lease payments to homeowners, and local economic development. We find that proximity to wells increases housing values, though risks to groundwater fully offset those gains. By itself, groundwater risk reduces property values by up to 24 percent.
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us