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The Impact of the Fracking Boom on Rents in Pennsylvania

Authors: Lucija Muehlenbachs, Elisheba Spiller, Andrew Steck and Christopher Timminsy - February 15, 2015

Booming shale gas development has been blamed for dramatic rises in housing rental costs, with important distributional consequences. We consider the effect of rapid shale development on Pennsylvania census tract rents, using New York tracts (located on the Marcellus shale formation but under a fracking moratorium) as a control group.

We develop a new estimator that combines matching and quantile regression techniques. Results suggest that the impact of shale gas development on rents varies dramatically over the distribution of unobservables and that large e ects are con ned to only the upper tail of the
distribution.

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