Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Resource Economics

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



The rapid expansion of hydraulic fracturing(fracking) over the past two decades has led to an increasing interest in the relationship between natural resource booms and crime. Since the onset of the fracking boom, numerous anecdotal accounts and an increasing body of empirical studies have suggested that fracking has a significant, positive impact on crime. However, the mechanisms behind this relationship are poorly understood. This study uses a high-resolution dataset and a unique, fixed-effects approach to decompose the effect that fracking has on crime into increases due to the introduction of new wells and increases due to the presence of existing wells. The findings suggest that new wells have a different impact on crime than existing wells. Specifically, new wells result in greater increases in violent crimes. These results may indicate that the relationship between fracking and crime is largely driven by the influx of non-local, transient, fracking labor.


First Advisor

Nathan Chan

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.