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Title page for ETD etd-04032014-064840

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Cecot, Caroline
URN etd-04032014-064840
Title Shale Development: Risks, Responses, and Regulation
Degree PhD
Department Law and Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
W. Kip Viscusi Committee Chair
Dana Nelson Committee Member
J.B. Ruhl Committee Member
Joni Hersch Committee Member
  • fracking
  • hedonic-pricing method
  • benefit-cost analysis
  • environmental regulation
Date of Defense 2014-03-24
Availability unrestricted
Advances in horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing have allowed operators to profit from oil and gas extracted from the extensive shale formations found in the United States. The resulting boom in shale development has exposed many areas, including heavily populated and environmentally sensitive areas, to the common as well as to the uncertain risks associated with drilling activities. This dissertation empirically analyzes responses to perceived risks of shale development as revealed through property transactions in a Pennsylvania county and through legislative decisions by New York towns. In general, I find that perceived risks to water feature prominently in both contexts. In Chapter I, I find that an additional nearby horizontal well increases property values on average, but that this positive effect is diminished for properties that rely on private wells for drinking water. Chapter II then considers when towns adopt a ban on shale development. In particular, I find that greater reliance on private water wells is associated with a higher probability of adopting a ban. Finally, in Chapter III, I discuss how governments could use regulations, tort liability, and insurance mandates to better manage risks to water, thereby possibly preventing property-value losses and outright bans.
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