PhD. Assistant Professor of Practice, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, United States of America
Ohio’s shale industry serves as a significant facet of the state’s economy, employing nearly 150,000 and contributing over $22 billion of positive impacts as of 2015. With advancements in hydraulic fracturing techniques, and access to the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in the eastern part of the state, Ohio has noteworthy potential for future shale development despite anecdotal discussion of a potential bust of the industry. This research employed a multi-industry economic contribution analysis using IMPLAN and an input-output methodology with 2015 data to quantify the economic contribution of the shale industry across the entire State of Ohio, as well as a 26-county Appalachian Ohio region where most shale extraction activity is taking place. Strong economic impact metrics are found for shale activity, including robust multiplier effects relative to other industries in the state. Out of the six modeled shale-related sectors, Pipeline Transportation, by far, pays the highest wages. Further, in order, the top five counties by total economic contribution per capita are Noble, Monroe, Belmont, Guernsey, and Washington. In fact, roughly 90% of the gross regional product in Monroe and Noble counties is attributable to the shale industry. With these findings, economic development and policy implications are highlighted, which are important as no other shale-play region in the U.S. is so disproportionally affected by resource extraction which contributes to regional poverty and negative pollution effects. Retaining wealth in this region with the legacy of boom-and-bust resource extraction is ever important, and this paper provides a baseline for analysis when looking how the shale industry changes over time.
Keywords: Energy, Natural Resources, Rural Economics, Resource Policy
JEL classification: J68, O13, P48