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Private Contracts as Regulation: A Study of Private Lease Negotiations Using the Texas Natural Gas Industry


  • Vissing, Ashley


This study explores factors driving tract-level heterogeneity in the quality of leases executed by property owners who transfer their mineral rights to firms that drill for and extract natural gas. The data set consists of tract-level aggregates of lease terms, our measures of lease quality, and tract-level census data from the leases. We find that higher-quality leases are negatively correlated with higher concentration of minority households when controlling for census-tract-level characteristics. Based on the findings, we propose policies to reduce observed heterogeneity in the quality of leases and, subsequently, to reduce residents' exposure to negative effects of nearby well sites.

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  • Vissing, Ashley, 2015. "Private Contracts as Regulation: A Study of Private Lease Negotiations Using the Texas Natural Gas Industry," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 120-137, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:agrerw:v:44:y:2015:i:02:p:120-137_01

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    Cited by:

    1. Weber, Jeremy G. & Ercoli, Thomas & Fitzgerald, Will & Nied, Paige & Penderville, Molly & Raabe, Eric, 2021. "Identifying the end: Minimum production thresholds for natural gas wells," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    2. Balthrop, Andrew T. & Hawley, Zackary, 2017. "I can hear my neighbors' fracking: The effect of natural gas production on housing values in Tarrant County, TX," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 351-362.
    3. Jeffrey Rous & Vicki Oppenheim & Myungsup Kim & Matthew Fry & Chetan Tiwari & Murray Rice, 2020. "Evaluating determinants of shale gas well locations in an urban setting," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 65(3), pages 645-671, December.
    4. Harleman, Max & Weber, Jeremy G., 2017. "Natural resource ownership, financial gains, and governance: The case of unconventional gas development in the UK and the US," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 281-296.
    5. Richard G. Newell & Brian C. Prest & Ashley Vissing, 2016. "Trophy Hunting vs. Manufacturing Energy: The Price-Responsiveness of Shale Gas," NBER Working Papers 22532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Brown, Jason P. & Fitzgerald, Timothy & Weber, Jeremy G., 2016. "Capturing rents from natural resource abundance: Private royalties from U.S. onshore oil & gas production," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 23-38.
    7. Burnett, J. Wesley, 2015. "FOREWORD: Unconventional Oil and Gas Development: Economic, Environmental, and Policy Analysis," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 44(2), pages 1-15, August.
    8. Max Harleman & Pramod Manohar & Elaine L. Hill, 2022. "Negotiations of Oil and Gas Auxiliary Lease Clauses: Evidence from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale," NBER Working Papers 30806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Maniloff, Peter & Kaffine, Daniel T., 2021. "Private monitoring and public enforcement: Evidence from complaints and regulation of oil and gas wells," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).

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