Date of Award

Winter 2001

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Ju-Chin Huang


The objectives of this dissertation are to examine, using hedonic methods, whether site-specific environmental amenities can become sources of market power for property management firms that control them and the extent to which such market power, if present, affects property tax shifting from property owners to property renters. The specific market examined in this dissertation is the vacation rentals market. The key participants in this market are the property owners, the renters and a few property management firms that manage the rental units in return for a fixed percentage commission paid by the owner each time the unit is rented out. In this dissertation, a proposition is derived by theoretically extending hedonic methods to accommodate both market structure and the local public sector. This proposition is then used to empirically examine the role of environmental amenities in creating firm-specific market power and assess the extent to which such market power facilitates property tax shifting. The results of this dissertation indicate that most of the market power exercised by the property management firms is derived from the environmental amenity, namely the lake, and a firm's ability to shift property taxes may be greatly affected by the magnitude of market power it possesses.