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24-11-2017 | Issue 2/2018

Journal of Economics and Finance 2/2018

The political economy of local fracking bans

Journal:
Journal of Economics and Finance > Issue 2/2018
Authors:
Joshua C. Hall, Christopher Shultz, E. Frank Stephenson

Abstract

Concerns about harmful effects arising from the increased use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract underground fuel resources has led to efforts to ban the practice. Many townships in western New York, which lies above the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation, have enacted bans or moratoria using local zoning laws. Using spatial econometric techniques, we examine factors related to townships’ choice to adopt fracking bans and document the importance of spatial dependence when analyzing fracking bans. We find education levels, the poverty rate, and veterans groups are associated with an increased probability of a township banning or putting a moratorium on fracking. Our results inform the literature on NIMBYism as well as helping explain why local fracking bans were so pervasive despite the positive economic effect of fracking on local labor markets.

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