Journal of Economics and Finance

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 397–408 | Cite as

The political economy of local fracking bans

  • Joshua C. Hall
  • Christopher Shultz
  • E. Frank Stephenson


Concerns about harmful effects arising from the increased use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract underground fuel resources has led to efforts to ban the practice. Many townships in western New York, which lies above the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation, have enacted bans or moratoria using local zoning laws. Using spatial econometric techniques, we examine factors related to townships’ choice to adopt fracking bans and document the importance of spatial dependence when analyzing fracking bans. We find education levels, the poverty rate, and veterans groups are associated with an increased probability of a township banning or putting a moratorium on fracking. Our results inform the literature on NIMBYism as well as helping explain why local fracking bans were so pervasive despite the positive economic effect of fracking on local labor markets.


Fracking bans Spatial autocorrelation 

JEL Classification

H73 Q48 R52 



Hall would like to acknowledge general research support from the Center for Free Enterprise at West Virginia University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, College of Business and EconomicsWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.State Street CorporationBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsBerry CollegeMount BerryUSA

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