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Crime and natural resource booms: evidence from unconventional natural gas production

Timothy M. Komarek ()
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Timothy M. Komarek: Old Dominion University

The Annals of Regional Science, 2018, vol. 61, issue 1, 113-137

Abstract: Abstract The USA has experienced a sudden expansion of oil and natural gas production due to the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The energy extraction boom has had many localized impacts, most notably in areas with substantial shale gas reserves. This paper exploits a natural experiment in the Marcellus region to examine one channel of the so-called resource curse, the effect of resource extraction on local crime. The results show that areas experiencing a natural gas extraction boom suffer an increase in overall violent crimes, while property crimes remain similar to non-boom areas. Furthermore, the violent crime increase appears to be driven primarily by increases in aggravated and sexual assaults.

JEL-codes: Q33 R11 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:61:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00168-018-0861-x