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Abstract

Many studies find that areas more dependent on natural resources grow more slowly – a relationship known as the resource curse. For counties in the south-central U.S., I find little evidence of an emerging curse from greater natural gas production during the 2000s. Increases in population mitigated a rise in average compensation and crowding out of the non-mining sector. Each gas-related mining job created a little more than two jobs, indicating a neutral effect on resource dependence as measured by employment. Furthermore, changes in the adult population by education level reveal that greater production did not lead to a less educated population.

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