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Essays on Rural and Regional Economics

Black, Katie Jo (2016) Essays on Rural and Regional Economics. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation analyzes economic questions related to rural and regional economies. I specifically focus on the valuation of open space, migration patterns in the face of economic downturns, and the effects of taxation on the unconventional well industry. In Chapter 1 I explore the benefits of preserving open space. Using a difference-in-differences empirical specification, I find that there is a 23 percent increase in adjacent home values resulting from this change in institution. Further analysis suggests that this premium is being driven by the benefits from a preserved view and less so by more accessible public land. Estimates show that preserved open space acts as a complement to personal lot size. Chapter 2 evaluates the effects of Pennsylvania's Act 13 Impact Fee on energy companies. West Virginia is used as a counterfactual comparison state in the difference-in-differences approach to estimate the economic effects of the Fee. Findings show that royalty rates, leasing activity, and well drilling decline significantly, while well productivity appears to be unaffected in the short-run. There is suggestive evidence that the large effect resulting from the Fee is being driven by liquidity constraints. The results suggest minimal pass-through of the Fee to private landowners and no evidence of spillover effects into West Virginia. Lastly, in Chapter 3, I evaluate the differential migration responses to employment decline between counties with heterogeneous housing markets. Using an instrumental variables method, I provide evidence that counties with higher levels of foreclosures have a statistically smaller response to employment shocks compared to counties which have lower levels of foreclosures. After restricting my focus to a smaller time frame, I provide estimates that show that areas with higher levels of foreclosures experience an increase in small-move migrants in response to job loss. Therefore, my long run estimates suggest that there is a lock-in effect. However, my short run estimates do not suggest that rural America has experienced a lock-in effect that contributed to the decline in internal migration. Overall, my dissertation highlights the importance of understanding economic issues that rural areas face and implementing the most effective potential policy-based solutions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Black, Katie Jokas332@pitt.eduKAS3320000-0002-3269-7303
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairShertzer,
Committee CoChairWalsh,
Committee MemberTroesken,
Committee MemberWeber,
Date: 1 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 April 2016
Approval Date: 1 June 2016
Submission Date: 1 March 2016
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 117
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: rural economics, regional economics, shale, open space, non-market valuation, migration, lock-in, foreclosures, employment change
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 13:49
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2021 05:15


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