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Title:The socioeconomic consequences of the U.S. fracking boom
Author(s):Xu, Minhong
Director of Research:Xu, Yilan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Xu, Yilan
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Khanna, Madhu; Dall'Erba, Sandy; McMillen, Daniel
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The central theme of this dissertation is to understand the socioeconomic consequences associated with the technological breakthroughs in the U.S. energy landscape. The dissertation combines econometric methods with spatial techniques to identify the externalities in water and energy transport arising from the recent shale energy boom. The three essays focus on various aspects of influences on real estate market, wastewater management, and highway traffic safety, with each contributing to a broad picture of the overall costs and benefits of the fracking revolution. All the analyses indicate that despite the enormous economic benefits the negative externalities associated with pipeline and truck transport have resulted in additional social and environmental costs. Specifically, in the first essay, we focus on the extent to which the existence of oil and gas pipelines and the related incidents elevated mortgage lenders’ risk perceptions and affected their lending and securitization decisions. We show a permanently lower origination rate by 1.9% in the pipeline-present areas compared to the pipeline-free areas, which was further enlarged by 1.8% whenever pipeline incidents happened. Moreover, lenders’ risk management strategies differed by borrowers’ income and evolved with the tightening of the securitization market. In the second essay, we focus on analyzing how unconventional drilling and production techniques could affect oil and gas wastewater production. We find that horizontal wells drilled in shale regions after 2010 produced an increasingly larger amount of wastewater at the initial stage of production compared to vertical wells with the difference decreasing over production age regardless of the cohort years. However, we find that unconventional wells have a lower lifespan cumulative wastewater and a higher production efficiency regarding the wastewater-to-energy ratio. In the third essay, we examine the effects of the fracking-related trucking on fatal crashes using evidence from North Dakota. A Poisson estimation shows that an additional post-fracking well within six miles of a road segment not only increased the count of fatal crashes involving large trucks by 7.5% but also intensified the crash severity. Moreover, wells’ post-fracking transport increased the incidence of daytime crashes during both rush and non-rush hours but not nighttime crashes. Finally, evidence suggests that the increased accidents were due to a higher traffic volume rather than a higher accident rate or risky driving behaviors.
Issue Date:2018-04-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2018, Minhong Xu
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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