Not being familiar with who the Nimby family was, I looked it up and found out they weren't a family, but people who didn’t want any or a certain type of development in their area. I also found an interesting paper titled Why Are There NIMBYs?
by William A. Fischel, a Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College published in January 2000, and part of his forthcoming book Land Economics
(2001). (If you want to read the paper, it is at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~wfischel/Papers/00-04.PDF
. I don't know if the book was published for sure. I took the information from the title page.) Here is the paper’s abstract: “An owner-occupied home is an unusual asset because it cannot be diversified among locations and because it is the only sizable asset that most owners possess. Among the uninsured risks of homeownership is devaluation by nearby changes in land use. Opponents of land-use change are called NIMBYs (“Not In My Back Yard”). This article submits that NIMBYism is a rational response to the uninsured risks of homeownership. It explores to the possibilities and drawbacks of providing an insurance market to cover such risks. It concludes that some progress is being made towards developing such markets.”
Prof. Fischel opens with, “NIMBYs sometimes appear to be irrational in their opposition to projects in the sense that they express far-fetched anxieties or doggedly fight projects whose expected neighborhood effects seem small or even benign. I submit in this note that such anxieties might not be irrational if we consider that most NIMBYs are homeowners, and that homeowners cannot insure their major (and often only) asset against devaluation by neighborhood effects. NIMBYism might better be viewed as a risk-averse strategy. I conclude with a few notes about how an insurance market might be developed to head off these concerns, if indeed they should be allayed at all.”
I found the paper an interesting read, and I wouldn’t purchase home-value insurance policy or rider even after reading the paper. Thanks Mr. Beaujon for introducing me to a new term and the opportunity to understand why people become a Nimby.
Richard H. Sullivan, Jr. member #3967