Home renovation waste upon change of ownership : A Coasian way of addressing an urban externality

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Using data of 1.4 million non-aggregate, publicly available, private residential property resale transactions for Hong Kong from 1991 to 2015, this paper addresses a public policy question raised by Demsetz from a Coasian angle. It estimates the impact of a less explored but ecologically problematic realm of renovation waste upon change of ownership of property units in a highly commodified property market. The estimate shows the extent and possibly high cost of the government in addressing negative externalities. Informed by the findings, this paper puts forward the recommendation of a prepaid lump sum waste monitoring levy, which is reimbursable upon self-reporting of waste generation. The collected information, when made open to the public, may help market forces to address poor building quality which causes legitimate major renovations and encourage better workmanship for future edifices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalWaste Management
Early online date13 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Coase theorem
  • Hong Kong
  • Renovation waste
  • Solid waste
  • Transaction costs
  • Waste levy


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