Firm formation and survival in the shale boom

  • Mark Partridge
  • Shawn M. RohlinEmail author
  • Amanda L. Weinstein


We examine the geographical and temporal effects of the technological changes that led to the U.S. shale oil and gas boom. We assess changes in U.S. county rates of entrepreneurship and survival rates of existing businesses across different industries in response to the innovations that led to energy development in counties with shale resources. We employ a panel difference-in-differences approach and rely on the geological determination of the location of shale resources and the unexpected innovation in shale extraction as our source of exogeneity. We find that temporal impacts obscure effects that would look small if we only examined average effects. Namely, new firm formation and sales initially decrease in boom regions, followed by a positive trend after the initial disruption. While new firm formation eventually recovers after many years, the overall impact on business dynamism is negative, suggesting that the areas most affected by this technological change may not benefit.


Shale boom Entrepreneurship Firm survival 

JEL classification

Q4 I2 O1 L26 



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agriculture, Environmental, and Development EconomicsOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsKent State UniversityKentUSA
  3. 3.University of AkronAkronUSA

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