Call for Workshop Papers

Unconventional Gas and Oil Development:

Economic and Environmental Impacts

NEW Abstract Deadline: February 28, 2014

New Abstract Deadline: February 28, 2014
The Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association (NAREA) and the National Agricultural & Rural Development Policy Center (NARDeP) are co-sponsoring the 2014 Workshop on Unconventional Shale Gas and Oil Development.  The 2014 workshop will be held at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, West Virginia immediately after the NAREA Annual Meeting. The NAREA-NARDeP Draft policy briefs are due April 15.  Participants will receive written comments on the policy briefs by April 30.  The workshop will take place on June 3-4, after the NAREA Annual Meeting on June 1-3. The Workshop may be attended either alone or in combination with the NAREA Annual Meeting.

The workshop will include addresses from recognized experts in the field, selected paper presentations chosen on the basis of submitted abstracts, and in-depth working sessions. A special issue of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Review (ARER) will be published from workshop papers accepted after an expedited version of the journal's peer-review process. In addition, authors are asked to contribute 1400-word policy briefs to NARDeP’s web site.  These policy briefs can be based on the same research as the ARER submission, but they are written for a policy audience.  Examples of NARDeP policy briefs are found at:

The NARDEP Center will provide a stipend of $1,000 to the presenting author (up to a maximum of 12) upon successful completion of their policy brief and submission of their paper to ARER. Presenters are expected to revise the policy brief based on feedback received on April 30 and during the workshop.  The $1,000 payment will be made upon submission of the paper to ARER for peer review and final acceptance of the policy brief by NARDeP. The NARDeP Center is also sponsoring ARER page charges for the accepted journal articles appearing in the special issue. 

Topics for Selected Papers
According to a recent International Energy Agency report, natural gas is poised to enter a golden age as a significant portion of the world's vast resources of unconventional gas are developed profitably and in an environmentally acceptable manner. The huge U.S. boom in shale gas development has been made possible by two principal technologies: horizontal drilling and high-volume, hydraulic fracturing. Despite the boon of these newly discovered energy resources, there are public concerns about the environment impacts of horizontal drilling, particularly over contamination of drinking water sources due to the chemical contents in hydraulic fracturing fluid. Until recently unconventional oil and gas development has received relatively little attention among applied economists. This Workshop will bring together researchers examining a broad range of economic and environmental issues surrounding the phenomena of unconventional fossil fuel development as a way to broaden our understanding of the key concerns facing land owners, government regulators, and private industry. In addition, analyses of economic issues facing different types of unconventional energy development are expected to have wider applications across disciplines. The Workshop Planning Committee is particularly interested in cutting-edge economic research with issues that are relevant to unconventional gas and oil development. The goal of the 2014 NAREA Workshop on Unconventional Shale Gas and Oil Development is to convene recognized and emerging experts to debate and advance research on the contemporary economic problems in energy, resource, and agricultural economics.

The workshop committee is seeking papers that advance the frontiers of economic analysis related to unconventional gas and oil development and policy issues. This includes papers from economic science and related fields that (1) provide novel methods for exploring economic impacts, (2) evaluate environmental impacts and risks, (3) develop and evaluate mechanisms for policies that aim to influence the future of unconventional fossil fuel development in the United States, and/or (4) otherwise address the role of unconventional gas and oil in the development of sustainable energy systems and climate change mitigation. Although the emphasis is on U.S. applications, relevant work from outside of the United States will also be considered. Top priority will be given to papers that incorporate well-conceptualized empirical applications, such as quasi-experimental or experimental economic methods, that will result in broader impacts through its effects on society.

Abstract Submission Guidelines
Authors wishing to have a paper considered for the NAREA Workshop must submit an extended abstract by Friday, February 28, 2014. Abstracts may be submitted online at and/or via email to Wesley Burnett, the Workshop Chair (e-mail to Abstracts may be e-mailed at any time prior to 2/28/14. If selected the 1400-word policy abstracts will be due by April 15th and the full paper due by May 1. 

The abstract file (MS Word or pdf) should contain the following information:

Cover page with:

  • title of paper;
  • name, address, e-mail address and phone number of paper presenter or primary contact;
  • name and institutional affiliation of paper presenter and co-author(s); and
  • 4-6 key words.

Separate pages with:

  • title of paper; and
  • extended abstract (1000 to 1500 words maximum; title and any references cited are in addition to this word limit).

Abstracts that do not comply with these guidelines will be returned without review. Electronic acknowledgements of submissions will be sent to all submitters. Abstracts will be reviewed by the NAREA Workshop Selected Papers Committee in terms of the significance to the field, strength of methodology/design, and clarity of writing. Authors will be notified of the status of their abstract by March 31, 2013.

Selected paper presentations will be 30 minutes. Full papers must be received from notified authors by May 15, 2013, to be included in the workshop's program. ARER must receive final papers by July 15, 2013, to be considered for expedited review in the special issue of ARER.

For More Information
Further information concerning workshop registration and the final program will be provided in the spring issue of the NAREA Newsletter and on the NAREA website.

For more information, contact the NAREA Workshop committee: