Doctoral Dissertation Research: Effects of Natural Resource Dependence

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project investigates an issue of central importance to some communities, the choice between reliance on natural resource extraction versus reliance on alternative forms of development. Extractive forms of natural resource use have been declining in the United States for decades. In their place, non-extractive forms of natural resource development such as tourism, outdoor recreation, and amenity development have emerged as a possible new direction. In this project, the relationship between these alternative paths and economic outcomes including economic growth, poverty, and opportunity is analyzed. The object is to see when and how particular strategies as well as change between strategies are beneficial. Findings will inform decision making concerning these areas of the United States and so will enhance national welfare.

Data for this project come from combining U.S. Census, American Community Survey, and Bureau of Economic Analysis data for relevant counties in the United States from 1970 to 2017. In the analysis, the historical effect of county-level extractive and non-extractive natural resource development on income growth, poverty, and opportunity will be tested and compared using spatial fixed-effects econometric models to provide an evaluation of how natural resource development affects income and its distribution over time. These models will be used to identify empirical thresholds of dependence in order to develop classifications of extractive, non-extractive, and hybrid (i.e., both extractive and non-extractive) dependence. Subsequently, trends and transitions in socioeconomic well-being will be evaluated for extractive and non-extractive natural resource dependent counties.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date5/15/199/30/20


  • National Science Foundation: $16,000.00


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