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A Statistical Learning Approach to Land Valuation: Optimizing the Use of External Information
We develop a statistical learning model to estimate the value of vacant land for any parcel, regardless of improvements. Rooted in economic theory, the model optimizes how to combine common improved property sales with rare, but more informative, vacant land sales. It estimates how land values change with geography and other features and determines how much information either vacant or improved sales provide to nearby areas through spatial correlation. For most census tracts, incorporating improved sales often doubles the certainty of land value estimates.