Amanda Weinstein, AEDE 2013 PhD graduate, was recently awarded the M. Jarvin Emerson Student Paper Competition Award for her paper, “Labor Market Restructuring in the Shale Boom”, at the 2013 Mid-Continent Regional Science Association (MCRSA) Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. As part of the prize, Weinstein was given the opportunity to present the paper at the annual MCRSA conference in late May. Additionally, Weinstein’s paper will be published in MCRSA's The Journal of Regional Analysis & Policy. The prize and the publication make the MCRSA student paper competition one of the most lucrative opportunities for student recognition among professional associations.
Weinstein’s research focuses on estimating the economic impact of shale development for states and regions that have adopted hydraulic fracturing methods and micro-seismic technology to extract natural gas and oil from underground shale plays. Weinstein’s research builds on existing research in the field, which has been conducted with varying results. In her work, Weinstein examines the boom cycle of shale development, modeled after similar work that looked at the boom and bust cycles for the coal industry in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s. Early in her studies at AEDE she studied shale development impacts in Pennsylvania and Ohio; after much success in this area she has expanded her research to perform a more rigorous national analysis of the economic impact of shale development in shale plays across the U.S.
In her analysis Weinstein found that there was a very sharp increase in oil and gas employment in boom counties starting around 2004. Around this time growth rates in employment for boom and non-boom counties seemed to be diverging, and even more so for earnings. She found that boom counties were associated with an annualized increase in employment of 1.26 percent and an annual increase in earnings of 2.65 percent. Further, Weinstein found that boom counties experienced a 3.3 percent increase in employment during the first year of the boom, but this employment growth decreased by 0.65 percent each subsequent year. Her analysis also showed that the boom counties experienced a 7.2 percent increase in total earnings in the first year, however, that impact decreased by about 1.48 percent each subsequent year. Overall, the results suggest that one additional oil and gas worker is associated with 0.3 additional jobs, suggesting that the impact of shale development on employment is modest with an employment multiplier of only 1.3.
The Mid-Continent Regional Science Association (MCRSA) is an interdisciplinary organization that uses the tools of regional science to help solve applied problems in rural and urban areas at the local, state, and national levels. MCRSA is one of five regional science associations located in North America, all of whom are affiliated with the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC). The organization held its 44th annual conference from May 29-31, 2013 in Kansas City, Missouri.
June 5, 2013