IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeeman/v84y2017icp125-152.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

There will be blood: Crime rates in shale-rich U.S. counties

Author

Listed:
  • James, Alexander
  • Smith, Brock

Abstract

Over the past decade the production of tight oil and shale gas significantly increased in the United States. This paper examines how this energy boom has affected regional crime rates throughout the country. We find positive effects on rates of various property and violent crimes in shale-rich counties. In 2013, the cost of the additional crimes in the average treatment county was roughly $2 million. These results are not easily explained by shifts in observed demographics like gender and age. There is however evidence that people with criminal records (registered sex offenders) moved disproportionally to shale-boom towns in North Dakota. We also document a rise in income inequality (a postulated determinant of criminal activity) that coincides with the timing of the energy boom. Policy makers in boom towns should anticipate these crime effects and invest in public infrastructure accordingly.

Suggested Citation

  • James, Alexander & Smith, Brock, 2017. "There will be blood: Crime rates in shale-rich U.S. counties," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 125-152.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:125-152
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2016.12.004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095069616305459
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Devah Pager, 2003. "The mark of a criminal record," Natural Field Experiments 00319, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Dan Black & Terra McKinnish & Seth Sanders, 2005. "The Economic Impact Of The Coal Boom And Bust," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(503), pages 449-476, April.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
    5. Mathieu Couttenier & Pauline Grosjean & Marc Sangnier, 2017. "The Wild West IS Wild: The Homicide Resource Curse," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 558-585.
    6. Hill, Elaine L., 2018. "Shale gas development and infant health: Evidence from Pennsylvania," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 134-150.
    7. Hodur, Nancy M. & Bangsund, Dean A., 2013. "Population Estimates for the City of Williston," Agribusiness & Applied Economics Report 146661, North Dakota State University, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics.
    8. Weber, Jeremy G., 2012. "The effects of a natural gas boom on employment and income in Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 1580-1588.
    9. Haggerty, Julia & Gude, Patricia H. & Delorey, Mark & Rasker, Ray, 2014. "Long-term effects of income specialization in oil and gas extraction: The U.S. West, 1980–2011," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 186-195.
    10. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2004. "Do Police Reduce Crime? Estimates Using the Allocation of Police Forces After a Terrorist Attack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 115-133, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Natural resources; Hydraulic fracturing; Crime; Resource curse;

    JEL classification:

    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:125-152. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.