Airport expansions and property values: The case of Chicago O'Hare airport

Daniel P. McMillen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper adds to the empirical literature by providing up-to-date estimates of the effect of airport noise on property values around one of the world's busiest airports, Chicago O'Hare. The results indicate that home values were about 9% lower within a 65 dB noise contour band of O'Hare in 1997. Opponents of airport expansions argue that increased noise will reduce property values and lower tax bases. The results of this paper suggest that aircraft are becoming so much quieter that the airport can be expanded without causing a drop in local property values or tax bases. Estimates suggest that house prices may rise by as much as $284.6 million in the densely populated area around O'Hare after a new runway is added to the airport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-640
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Urban Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Airports
  • Amenities
  • Hedonic
  • Housing
  • Noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Urban Studies


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