Shale Gas Development and the Costs of Groundwater Contamination Risk
Resources for the Future
Environmental Defense Fund; Duke University
Duke University - Department of Economics
March 19, 2013
Resources for the Future Discussion Paper No. 12-40-REV
While shale gas development can result in rapid local economic development, negative externalities associated with the process may adversely affect the prices of nearby homes. We utilize a difference-in-differences estimator with additional controls for house fixed effects and the boundary of the public water service area in Washington County, Pennsylvania to identify the capitalization of groundwater contamination risk in property values, differentiating it from other externalities, lease payments to homeowners, and local economic development. We find that proximity to wells increases property values. However, groundwater contamination concerns fully offset those gains by reducing property values up to 26 percent.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: shale gas, property values, hedonic, groundwater
JEL Classification: Q53working papers series
Date posted: July 26, 2012 ; Last revised: March 27, 2013
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