Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Jonathan Hughes

Second Advisor

Martin Boileau

Third Advisor

Nicholas Flores

Fourth Advisor

Paul Strom


In this paper I examine the impact of the current boom in oil and gas production on the labor markets within Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming. I am primarily interested in two main questions throughout the study. What has been the overall economic effect of the shocks by the oil and gas sector? How did these effects differ between industries mainly requiring a degree and non-degree industries? I have found evidence of an overall increase of employment and wages, with the difference in earnings per worker between non-degree and degree sectors decreasing during the oil boom.