Dr. Jonathan Louis Kramer, DLP

Dr. Jonathan Louis Kramer, DLP

I’m very pleased (and relieved) to report that this morning I successfully defended my doctoral thesis, “Cell Towers, Community Perspectives, and Hedonic Price Modeling: Utility, Limitations, and Localism.”

It was wonderful the be greeted with, “Congratulations, Doctor Kramer” when the three thesis committee members came back from their private discussions after my defense.

Thanks to all of you for your support of me along this path, and for those of you who were able to join in the defense today by video link. If you would like to see the slides I used this morning for the defense, I’ve posted them here in PDF format. The animations would show, but you’ll get the idea.

(Note: the slides linked below contain non-substantive corrections made as of 9/3/16. An errata sheet is provided in these slides. Thank you to Michael J. Friedman for his eagle eyes.)


Jonathan Kramer’s DLP Thesis Defense Announced

Sent out today by James Passanisi, Associate Director, Doctor of Law & Policy Program, Northeastern University regarding Jonathan Kramer’s thesis defense:

DLP community,

I am happy to announce that Jonathan Kramer will be defending his DLP thesis Cell Towers, Community Perspectives, and Hedonic Price Modeling: Utility, Limitations, and Localism on Tuesday, August 30 at 11:15 am, Eastern Time. Attached you will find the abstract of his project.

Please note that Jonathan will be defending his thesis remotely from California. Current students and alumni are welcome to attend the defense via webcast or in person at our office in Boston.

Here is the abstract of my thesis mentioned by Mr. Passanisi:


The installation of cell sites in communities, especially in residential areas, is often controversial. Public concerns regarding residential property value diminution and negative health impacts attributed to cell sites near homes are commonly heard at local government planning and zoning hearings. Cell site permit denials can lead to federal or state litigation frequently based on the local government’s denial prohibiting the provision of a communications service, a federally-protected right under the Telecommunication Act of 1996. This research explores the history of hedonic price modeling in assessing the disamenity value of cell sites in residential areas, focusing on the utility and limitations of the prior research conducted in the United States, Europe, and New Zealand, as well as and how that research has been utilized by the courts. Also reported are the results of surveys and interviews of Calabasas, California residents regarding their perceptions of cell site impacts on property value and health in that city. This study finds that the prior hedonic price models of cell sites have important limitations and omit potentially relevant variables regarding spatial relationships and physical elements between cell sites and homes. In addition, the courts have given little weight to hedonic modeling studies, preferring locally-related comparable home value appraisal data. The conclusion suggests and discusses potential methods and variables that may improve future hedonic models of cell site impacts. Survey respondents in Calabasas exhibit an unexpected willingness to allow camouflaged cell sites in residential areas but are undecided regarding potential health impacts from cell sites. Finally, a proposed potential theory is suggested to explain why cell site opponents may argue property value diminution concerns at local government planning and zoning hearings as a surrogate for privately held concerns regarding health effects from cell sites.

JEL Codes: K11, K23, K40, K41, R30, R38
Keywords: Telecommunications Act, cell tower sites, wireless, hedonic, property value, radiation, health, Calabasas



My Thesis Title is Approved

Today I received my PI’s approval for the title of my thesis.

I had suggested, “Hedonistic, Hedonic, or Hilarious: Taking the road less paved” for my contribution to society. Alas, my PI preferred “Cell Towers, Community Perspectives, and Hedonic Price Modeling: Utility, Limitations, and Localism” for the thesis. Who am I to argue with one of three people on my thesis committee who stand (or sit) between me and my doctorate.

Well, okay then. I’ll take the road officially approved.

I defend my thesis on Tuesday, August 30th around 9 a.m. Pacific Time, which by my calendar is just 13 days from now. Tick-tock, Tick-tock.

Source: http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/thesis_defense.png.


Last Thesis Chapter Done and Submitted

Today I submitted the conclusions chapter of my thesis to my co-P.I., Professor Neenah Estrella-Luna. This is a huge milestone for me, and I remain on track to defend on August 30th.


PS: It’s also a huge relief. The writing is done. All that remains are to address the very few edits to the preceding chapters received from both of my P.I.s and my second reader, Dr Ed Kammerer, J.D., Ph.D. jlk

PPS: Someone else very happy with the submission of my final chapter is Christina R. Sansone. She’s been waiting for me to finish this for a long time. I’m happy she’s still talking to me. Now it becomes my primary job, Chris.

Good luck, soon-to-be Dr. Evadne Hagigal!

Good luck to Evadne Hagigal, who will be defending her Doctor of Law and Policy doctoral thesis on Friday, August 12th.  The title of her thesis is, The Unintended Consequences of Federally Mandated Minimum Wage Increases: An Examination of Employment Trends and Employers’ Perspectives.


(UPDATE: She successfully defended her thesis, and will become Dr. Hagigal on September 22nd, and hooded on September 28th.  Great!!! -jlk)

One Chapter Left

I’ve written 5 of the 6 chapters that comprise my thesis. The chapters are:

  1. Introduction
  2. Literature Review
  3. Research Methodology
  4. Resident Surveys and Interviews
  5. Hedonic Price Modeling and the Courts
  6. Conclusions and Recommendations

The final chapter, my conclusions and recommendations for further research, is in progress. I should have it finished later this week, and then off to my editor.

I’m still on track to defend my thesis on Tuesday, August 30th.

I am happy, but I’ll be happier when I’m done.


My editor, Dissertation-Editor.com

In my previous post I mentioned sending off a chapter to my editor, so it occurred to me spill a few words about my editor, Dissertation-Editor.com

I’m using Dr. Alan Roda’s Dissertation-Editor.com service to professionally edit my thesis and ensure that it complies with APA 6th formatting style.  I was exposed to Dr. Roda’s service way of a trusted recommendation from member of my cohort who was very happy with Dr. Roda’s services, and I now know why.

Dissertation-Editor.com’s staff of Ph.Ds has done exactly what I need.  They have edited my chapters to ensure scholarly tone and style.  They have suggested changes to words, sentence structures, and paragraph order to help me clarify my intended meaning. They have challenged me with questions based on what I have written as my Principal Investigator would.  What they have never done is to cross the ethical boundary of writing new material for me.

Frankly, I appreciate the cost effectiveness of Dissertation-Editor.com billing practices.  They charge a basic rate for their services with their normal turn-around, but offer quicker turnarounds for a modest additional fee.  This quicker turnaround service has been valuable to me as I play ‘beat-the-clock’ on some of my chapter deliverables.

Look, it’s impossible to effectively edit your own work.  No, you’re not that good.  In case I’ve not been clear, I’m happy to recommend Dr. Roda’s group, Dissertation-Editor.com to any doctoral candidate who wants to turn in scholarly work that is coherent and free of errors in grammar and punctuation..

No, I’ve received nothing from them for saying the things I’ve said here.  I just appreciate and respect excellent work at very fair rates.


PS: I had to edit this text hours after posting it because (a) I did NOT have Dissertation-Editor.com edit this piece, and (b) I found two errors in the text.  It goes to show…  jlk

Overall Doctor of Law and Policy GPA

I just received my final course grades for the Spring, 2016 quarter,which is my final quarter in the Doctor of Law and Policy program. This means that I now know that my final program GPA is 3.952 for 100% of the coursework.

It doesn’t matter, now.

As I noted a few months ago, what matters is defending my thesis. I am staying focused and on point, but that said, I’m very happy with my final GPA.


Nearing the end…Doctor of Law and Policy

Cohort 8, Professors, and Key Program Staff. June, 2016.

About 15 minutes ago the last quarter of Cohort 8’s Doctor of Law and Policy program at Northeastern University in Boston came to an end.  All of the classwork is complete.  Grades for the last quarter will come out in about 36 hours, not that the really matters now (well, maybe a little bit).

My thesis is coming along splendidly.  Still on track to now complete it by July 30th, and defend it on August 30th.

I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent with the members of Cohort, all of whom have become very close and important friends over the past two years.  We shared in a common journey and struggle, helping each other and thereby helping ourselves.

Over the course of studies, we’ve been gladdened by a marriage, a birth, various job changes, and a retirement.  We have also been saddened by the loss of extended family members, serious injuries, kidney stones, and cancer.

Cohort 8 has become its own family, with our key professors, Neenah Estrella-Luna and Dan Urman sometimes acting in loco parentis.  James Passanisi has been our kindly uncle for the past two years, working to make sure that we didn’t stray too far from the center, and properly scolding us a few times when we did.  David, and Wendy (a.k.a., Taz), have been our co-schemers and co-pranksters.

I look forward to seeing all of my family and our professors when we reconvene in September to be hooded as Doctors of Law and Policy.

I consider myself immensely lucky to have landed a spot in Cohort 8 of Northeastern University’s Doctor of Law and Policy program, and to be with such magnificent, intelligent, passionate and caring people.