Colby College Economics Dept. Honors Thesis / by Brendan Cosgrove
[Press Release] Brendan Cosgrove ’14 had his honors thesis accepted for publication in the August 2015 issue of Agricultural and Resource Economics Review. Titled “The Economic Impact of Shale Gas Development: A Natural Experiment along the New York and Pennsylvania Border,” the article evaluates the economic impact of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) by using the border between Pennsylvania and New York as a natural experiment. New York has a fracking moratorium; Pennsylvania permits fracking.
In the study Cosgrove used county and zip code-level data from 2001 to 2013 to compare employment and wages in New York and Pennsylvania before and after New York’s moratorium. The paper’s abstract says, “We find that shale gas development has a positive impact on employment and wages in the natural resource, mining, and construction sectors for the counties in which drilling occurs. However, we find an offsetting reduction in employment in the manufacturing sector. Overall we find no statistically significant effects from shale gas development on total employment and wages at the local level.”
Economics professors Sahan Dissanayake, Michael Donihue ’79, and Daniel LaFave worked with Cosgrove on his honors thesis and are listed as coauthors on the paper. Cosgrove presented his work at the 2014 Colby Liberal Arts Symposium, at the 2014 Maine Economics Conference, and at the Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) Workshop in West Virginia in 2014.