NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Evan M. Herrnstadt

Ford House Office Building
2nd and D St. SW
Washington, DC 20515

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Congressional Budget Office

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2020The Economics of Time-Limited Development Options: The Case of Oil and Gas Leases
with Ryan Kellogg, Eric Lewis: w27165
Oil and gas leases between mineral owners and extraction firms ubiquitously include royalty and primary term clauses. The royalty denotes the share of revenue that is paid to the mineral owner, and the primary term specifies the date by which the firm must complete a well, lest it lose the lease. Using data from the Louisiana shale boom, we first show that wells' drilling timing is substantially bunched just before lease expiration, raising the question of why leases include development deadlines that distort drilling decisions. We then develop a contracting model in which mineral owners face firms with private information and have the ability to contract on both realized revenue and drilling timing. We show that primary terms can increase both the owner's expected revenue and total surplu...
September 2017What Lies Beneath: Pipeline Awareness and Aversion
with Richard L. Sweeney: w23858
Stated safety concerns are a major impediment to making necessary expansions to the natural gas pipeline network. While revealed willingness to pay to avoid existing natural gas pipelines appears small, it is difficult to know if this reflects true ambivalence or a lack of salience and awareness. In this paper, we test this latter hypothesis by studying how house prices responded to a deadly 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno, CA, which shocked both attention and information. Using multiple identification strategies, we fail to find any evidence of a meaningful shift in the hedonic price gradient around pipelines following these events. We conclude with a discussion of how this result relates to latent, fully informed preferences, as well as the implications for future pipeline expansion...
December 2015Air Pollution and Criminal Activity: Evidence from Chicago Microdata
with Erich Muehlegger: w21787
A large and growing literature documents the adverse impacts of pollution on health, productivity, educational attainment and socioeconomic outcomes. This paper provides the first quasi-experimental evidence that air pollution causally affects criminal activity. We exploit detailed location data on over two million serious crimes reported to the Chicago police department over a twelve-year period. We identify the causal effect of pollution on criminal activity by comparing crime on opposite sides of major interstates on days when the wind blows orthogonally the direction of the interstate and find that violent crime is 2.2 percent higher on the downwind side. Consistent with evidence from psychology on the relationship between pollution and aggression, the effect is unique to violent crime...
 
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