Further to my two previous posts on fracking and social mobility, here I present additional evidence that upward mobility tends to be higher in areas with fracking, but only for boys. As noted in my last past, the reason why one should not expect upward mobility for girls to be higher in areas with fracking is that fracking is an overwhelmingly male-dominated industry.
My previous posts utilised Chetty et al.'s new estimates of the causal impact of growing up in different commuting zones (CZ). Yet Chetty et al. also report new estimates of the causal impact of growing up in different counties. Counties constitute a much finer-grained level of analysis than CZs; there are more than 2,400 counties in the US, yet only around 700 CZs. The chart below, which is based on the same methodology as before, plots the percentage of counties at a given rank or higher located in fracking states against rank on individual income causal impact, separately for boys and girls.
Overall, 23% of counties are located in fracking states. Once again, the line for boys is substantially higher than the line for girls, especially on the left-hand side. What's more, the line for boys is strictly above 23%, whereas the line for girls is strictly below 23%. This indicates that counties located in fracking states are overrepresented among those with the largest causal impacts for boys, but are underrepresented among those with the largest causal impacts for girls. For boys: ~44% of the top 50 counties are located in fracking states, 60% of the top 20 are located in fracking states, and 90% of the top 10 are located in fracking states. For girls, by contrast: 0% of the top 50 counties are located in fracking states. Counties located in North Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming are all well-represented at the top of the boys' ranking.