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The Geographic Dispersion of Economic Shocks: Evidence from the Fracking Revolution: Comment


  • Alexander James

    () (Department of Economics and Public Policy, University of Alaska Anchorage)

  • Brock Smith

    () (Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics, Montana State University)


In the mid 2000s, shale-energy-rich U.S. counties experienced a sudden and significant economic shock resulting from energy extraction. While the resulting localized economic effects are relatively well understood, less is known about the geographic dispersion of the effects. We build upon an existing literature, most notably Feyrer, Mansur, and Sacerdote (2017), by examining the conditional economic effects of nearby energy production. Because energy-producing counties tend to be located near each other, producing counties experience inward economic spillovers from other nearby producing counties and this inflates the estimated effect of own-county production. Accounting for this, we identify smaller income effects of hydrocarbon production than Feyrer, Mansur, and Sacerdote (2017), limited to counties within 60-80 miles of the source of production. The proposed estimation strategy can be applied more generally to estimate the dispersion of multiple, simultaneously occurring economic shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander James & Brock Smith, 2018. "The Geographic Dispersion of Economic Shocks: Evidence from the Fracking Revolution: Comment," Working Papers 2018-02, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ala:wpaper:2018-02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Munasib, Abdul & Rickman, Dan S., 2015. "Regional economic impacts of the shale gas and tight oil boom: A synthetic control analysis," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 1-17.
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    4. James Feyrer & Erin T. Mansur & Bruce Sacerdote, 2017. "Geographic Dispersion of Economic Shocks: Evidence from the Fracking Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1313-1334, April.
    5. Guy Michaels, 2011. "The Long Term Consequences of Resourceā€Based Specialisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 31-57, March.
    6. Jason Brown & Timothy Fitzgerald & Jeremy G. Weber, 2016. "Asset Ownership, Windfalls, and Income: Evidence from Oil and Gas Royalties," Research Working Paper RWP 16-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, revised 08 Dec 2016.
    7. Weinstein, Amanda L. & Partridge, Mark D. & Tsvetkova, Alexandra, 2018. "Follow the money: Aggregate, sectoral and spatial effects of an energy boom on local earnings," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 196-209.
    8. Johanna Richter & Alliana Salanguit & Alexander James, 2018. "The (Uneven) Spatial Distribution of the Bakken Oil Boom," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 94(4), pages 577-592.
    9. Weber, Jeremy G., 2014. "A decade of natural gas development: The makings of a resource curse?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 168-183.
    10. Maniloff, Peter & Mastromonaco, Ralph, 2017. "The local employment impacts of fracking: A national study," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 62-85.
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    Cited by:

    1. Guettabi, Mouhcine & James, Alexander, 2020. "Who benefits from an oil boom? Evidence from a unique Alaskan data set," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    2. Eife, Thomas, 2020. "The General Equilibrium Effects of the Shale Revolution," Working Papers 0694, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    3. Michael Pollmann, 2020. "Causal Inference for Spatial Treatments," Papers 2011.00373,
    4. Kevin Berry & Alexander James & Brock Smith & Brett Watson, 2019. "Geography, Geology, and Regional Economic Development," Working Papers 2019-03, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
    5. Rickman, Dan & Wang, Hongbo, 2020. "What goes up must come down? The recent economic cycles of the four most oil and gas dominated states in the US," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    6. Cunningham, Scott & DeAngelo, Gregory & Smith, Brock, 2020. "Fracking and risky sexual activity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    7. Diemer, Andreas, 2020. "Spatial diffusion of local economic shocks in social networks: evidence from the US fracking boom," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 105868, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item


    Economic Shocks; Regional Development; Economic Propagation;

    JEL classification:

    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • Q33 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Resource Booms (Dutch Disease)

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