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Abstract

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing processes to extract shale gas have raised concerns among local residents over the safety of these new drilling techniques. To assess whether potential negative externalities associated with shale gas exploration are capitalized into surrounding homeowners property values, we estimate a hedonic model combining data on 3,464 housing sales occurring between 2008 and 2010 in a suburban/rural county south of Pittsburgh, PA which experienced large numbers of new horizontal Marcellus wells beginning in late 2008. Using hedonic methods, we find a negative and significant impact to households in close proximity both spatially and temporally to this activity. Further we find that this negative impact disproportionately accrues to homeowners near additional agricultural areas and on well water. In all cases, the negative impact appears relatively short-lived

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