--> Over the past decade, a technological breakthrough - hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" - has fueled a boom in oil and natural gas extraction by reaching shale reserves inaccessible through conventional technologies.
This paper explores the educational response to
fracking, taking advantage of the timing of its widespread introduction and the
spatial variation in shale oil and gas reserves.
The paper shows that local labor
demand shocks from fracking have been biased toward low-skilled labor and
males, reducing the return to high school completion among men and increasing high school dropout rates of male teens, both
overall and relative to females.
The researchers estimate imply that, absent
fracking, the male-female gap in high school dropout rates among 17- to
18-year-olds would have narrowed by about 11% between 2000 and 2013 instead of