Voter Preferences and Political Change: Evidence from Shale Booms

38 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2015 Last revised: 4 Jan 2016

See all articles by Viktar Fedaseyeu

Viktar Fedaseyeu

Bocconi University - Department of Finance; Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research

Erik Gilje

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Philip E. Strahan

Boston College - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 2015

Abstract

Local interests change sharply after the energy booms that began in 2003, when hydraulic fracturing spurred extraction of formerly uneconomic oil and gas reserves. Support for conservative interests rises and Republican political candidates gain votes after booms, leading to a near doubling in the probability of a change in incumbency. All of this change occurs at the expense of Democrats. Voting records of U.S. House members from boom districts become sharply more conservative across a wide range of issues, including issues unrelated to energy policy. At the level of the individual, marginal candidates skew their voting behavior somewhat toward more conservative causes, but generally not enough to maintain power. Thus, even when the stakes are high and politicians risk losing power, ideology trumps ambition.

Suggested Citation

Fedaseyeu, Viktar and Gilje, Erik and Strahan, Philip E., Voter Preferences and Political Change: Evidence from Shale Booms (December 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21789. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2703194

Viktar Fedaseyeu (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Finance ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milano, MI 20136
Italy
+390258365283 (Phone)
+390258365283 (Fax)

Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Erik Gilje

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Philip E. Strahan

Boston College - Department of Finance ( email )

Carroll School of Management
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United States
617-552-6430 (Phone)
617-552-0431 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.bc.edu/~strahan

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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