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EDUCATE BEFORE YOU DRILL: NATURAL GAS AND ITS EFFECTS ON HUMAN CAPITAL

by Lynch, Patrick Russell

Abstract

The recent natural gas boom in the United States, attributable to the widespread use of hydraulic fracturing, has led to abundant economic benefits over the past few years. The industry has grown so rapidly that it is important to analyze its social effects on the communities in which the extraction occurs. This paper investigates the impact of natural gas drilling on the human capital stock and accumulation of human capital in the county of extraction. Drawing on previous research that investigates how human capital is affected in the event of natural resource abundance, this paper isolates the impact a cubic foot increase in production of natural gas has on the educational outcome of a particular county. Through the use of a panel data regression, results show that counties with higher production, or any production at all, have a higher number of college dropouts as well as lower enrollment rates when looking at lagged gas production. The analysis demonstrates that natural gas production negatively affects both human capital accumulation and stock for that county.

Note

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Colorado College
PID
coccc:11131
Digital Origin
born digital
Extent
55 pages : illustrations
Thesis
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Lybecker, Kristina
Department/Program
Department of Economics and Business
Degree Name
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Type
bachelor
Degree Grantor
Colorado College
Date Issued
2015-05