The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 113–137 | Cite as

Crime and natural resource booms: evidence from unconventional natural gas production

  • Timothy M. KomarekEmail author
Original Paper


The USA has experienced a sudden expansion of oil and natural gas production due to the combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The energy extraction boom has had many localized impacts, most notably in areas with substantial shale gas reserves. This paper exploits a natural experiment in the Marcellus region to examine one channel of the so-called resource curse, the effect of resource extraction on local crime. The results show that areas experiencing a natural gas extraction boom suffer an increase in overall violent crimes, while property crimes remain similar to non-boom areas. Furthermore, the violent crime increase appears to be driven primarily by increases in aggravated and sexual assaults.

JEL Classification

Q33 R11 K42 

Supplementary material

168_2018_861_MOESM1_ESM.dta (399 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (dta 399 KB) (13 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (do 13 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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