Why does industry structure matter for unconventional oil and gas development? Examining revenue sharing outcomes in North Dakota
Scholars have identified many determinants of regulatory outcomes in unconventional oil and gas development, but few have focused on industry structure. We examine the effects of company size and ownership on revenue sharing outcomes in North Dakota (ND), drawing on political economy bargaining models. We examine firm-level characteristics of ND's oil producers from 2005 to 2015, matching these data against revenue sharing outcomes and estimating effects using graphical and statistical methods. Along with this core analysis, we conduct key informant interviews with four elite actors in the unconventional oil and gas sector in ND, to provide supplementary details on industry structure and voluntary contributions to local communities. Our findings suggest that when industry is dominated by larger, publicly-traded firms, there is more revenue sharing between firms and the state government. However, we find anecdotal evidence that smaller, local firms may better target resources towards local needs. Our work contributes to a better understanding of the varied outcomes at the sub-national and sub-state level and expands the “resource curse” literature that suggests that industry characteristics shape local outcomes.
Litzow, E; Neville, KJ; Johnson-King, B; Weinthal, E
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