• An analysis of the impact of unconventional oil and gas activities on public health: New evidence across Oklahoma counties

      Apergis, Nicholas; Mustafa, Ghulam; Ghosh Dastidar, Sayantan; University of Texas at El Paso, USA; University of Derby; Queen Mary University of London, UK (Elsevier, 2021-03-17)
      The expansion of unconventional oil and gas development (UNGD) in the US has been highly controversial so far with no consensus on its health, economic, environmental, and social implications. This paper examines the effects of UNGD on the health profile of the population in the context of Oklahoma using a unique data set. To this end, the analysis assembles a panel data set including 76 counties of Oklahoma, spanning the period 1998-2017. The analysis estimates the long-run relationship between the health profile and its determinants using the Common Correlated Effects (CCE) method. The empirical setup allows for cross-sectional dependence and accounts for both observed and unobserved heterogeneity. The main findings provide strong evidence that UNGD activities have negative effects on human health-related outcomes across all counties in Oklahoma. Specifically, an increase in the number of (unconventional) wells has a positive impact on mortality rates, and incidences of cancer, cardiac, and respiratory diseases in communities in close spatial proximity, and a negative impact on life expectancy. These findings provide evidence that UNGD activities pose significant risks to the public health profile across the Oklahoma population. Such findings are expected to have substantial implications for the national debate on the regulation of UNGD.