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Local economic impacts of an unconventional energy boom: the coal seam gas industry in Australia

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  • Fleming, David A.
  • Measham, Thomas G.

Abstract

Complementing the scarce economic literature about local impacts of energy extraction booms, this paper empirically investigates economic outcomes related to the new coal seam gas (CSG) industry located across southern Queensland. This Australian state has seen an unprecedented inflow of investments into the extraction of this previously unexploited unconventional natural gas over the last decade. We analyze census data to study income and employment effects associated with the CSG boom, exploiting the quasi-experimental conditions provided by CSG extraction areas (treatment regions) and regions without this development (control regions). Findings show that treatment regions have higher income growth than control areas during 2001–2011 for families residing locally and for individuals present on census night. Employment in the mining sector also shows higher growth as has non-mining employment in some areas. We include comparisons between CSG areas with no major mining history (the Surratt basin) and CSG areas where mining was important before the CSG boom (the Bowen basin), to better understand boom effects in areas with different initial mining industry importance in their economies. Local job multipliers are also analyzed for Surratt basin CSG areas, where positive impacts (job spillovers) are restricted to construction and professional services jobs, while agricultural jobs have decreased.

Suggested Citation

  • Fleming, David A. & Measham, Thomas G., 2015. "Local economic impacts of an unconventional energy boom: the coal seam gas industry in Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 59(1), January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:280228
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.280228
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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