The study “stands a good chance of revealing something useful,” Gordon Dahl, a professor of economics at the University of California-San Diego, said in an email.
Dahl has studied how family income affects children. He said if the money goes directly to families, “our results would suggest that this should help children do better in school.” But he also noted that other differences between the New York and Pennsylvania communities could impact the results.
Drilling booms also have had a downside, including increased heavy truck traffic that can destroy roads and lead to more fatal accidents. Communities also have struggled with increased crime and pollution, as well as tension between those who get the huge royalties and those who don’t.
Martin said the New York-based Russell Sage Foundation provided a $150,000 grant for the study Preliminary results could be available in about a year.