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Capturing rents from natural resource abundance: private royalties from U.S. onshore oil and gas production
Innovation-spurred growth in oil and gas production from shale formations led the U.S. to become the global leader in producing oil and natural gas. Because most shale is on private lands, drilling companies must access the resource through private lease contracts that provide a share of the value of production ? a royalty ? to mineral owners. We investigate the competitiveness of leasing markets by estimating how much mineral owners capture geologically-driven advantages in well productivity through a higher royalty rate. We estimate that the six major shale plays generated $39 billion in ...
Narrative Sign Restrictions for SVARs
We identify structural vector autoregressions using narrative sign restrictions. Narrative sign restrictions constrain the structural shocks and/or the historical decomposition around key historical events, ensuring that they agree with the established narrative account of these episodes. Using models of the oil market and monetary policy, we show that narrative sign restrictions tend to be highly informative. Even a single narrative sign restriction may dramatically sharpen and even change the inference of SVARs originally identified via traditional sign restrictions. Our approach combines ...
Boom Town Business Dynamics
The shale oil and gas boom in the U.S. provides a unique opportunity to study economic growth in a "boom town" environment, to derive insights about economic expansions more generally, and to obtain clean identification of the causal effects of economic growth on specific margins of business adjustment. The creation of new business establishments--separate from the expansion of existing establishments--accounts for a disproportionate share of the multi-industry employment growth sparked by the shale boom, an intuitive but not inevitable empirical result that is broadly consistent with ...
Death of Coal and Breath of Life: The Effect of Power Plant Closure on Local Air Quality
The number of U.S. coal-fired power plants declined by nearly 250 between 2001 and 2018. Given that burning coal generates large amounts of particulate matter, which is known to have adverse health effects, the closure of a coal-fired power plant should improve local air quality. Using spatial panel data from air quality monitor stations and coal-fired power plants, we estimate the relationship between plant closure and local air quality. We find that on average, the levels of particulate matter within 25 and 50 mile buffers around air quality monitors declined between 7 and 14 percent with ...