Fracking Booms and Risky Behaviors: Evidence from Pennsylvania

Monday, June 13, 2016: 3:00 PM
B26 (Stiteler Hall)

Author(s): Inna Cintina; Trinidad Beleche

Discussant: Dr. David Mushinski

In the past decade, the technological developments made the extraction of shale gas economically feasible and prompted regional economic booms (“fracking” boomtowns) across the US. The sudden income gains combined with a disproportional increase in the young male population increase the demand for various goods and services, including those provided by the sex industry. We investigate the relationship between regional fracking booms and a variety of risk-taking outcomes such as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), prostitution and commercialized vice, and alcohol consumption in Pennsylvania. Additionally, we evaluate the heterogeneous effect by race and age. Our preliminary findings indicate that counties with greater fracking activities have higher rates of STDs and higher rates of arrests for prostitution and commercialized vice relative to the control counties.