Carnegie Mellon University
September 18, 2012

News Brief: Carnegie Mellon Team Creates Most Comprehensive Research Guide Available to Date on Marcellus and Utica Shale Natural Gas Extraction

PITTSBURGH—Today, a team of Carnegie Mellon University researchers led by Robert Strauss, professor of economics and public policy, and Afeworki Paulos, social science librarian and adjunct professor of social and decision sciences, launched the most comprehensive online compilation of literature on natural gas extraction in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays.

The resource ( will allow policymakers and scholars to make sense of the existing body of research on this topic and identify new opportunities for investigation. Recent Heinz College public policy graduates, Anna Kasunic and Collin Siu, provided the bibliographic and technical support for the project. The online compilation was developed with a grant from the Chrostwaite Institute, which is the research arm of the non-profit, non-partisan Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.

Over 1,200 works of scholarly research, industry and think tank reports, government documents, maps and existing research guides were catalogued in this project. Users can search for documents by keyword, browse by category, or download the catalogue in Microsoft Excel format. Overall, the effort identified over 530 documents that discuss the economic issues such as employment and tax revenues, whereas just two works deal with population changes and none with welfare.

"Not surprisingly, there has been scant investigation of impacts of natural gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing in areas such as population change, transportation infrastructure,  housing patterns, income or poverty and social services usage. There is very little knowledge about how this important economic driver is affecting so many aspects of our communities. The majority of the literature on this activity deals with economic, environmental, or public health impacts. And even these impacts are still under investigation," said Strauss, professor of economics and public policy at the Heinz College.


Contact: Professor Robert Strauss / / 412-268-4798