NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Labor Market Impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Oil Drilling Moratorium

Joseph E. Aldy

NBER Working Paper No. 20409
Issued in August 2014
NBER Program(s):   EEE

In 2010, the Gulf Coast experienced the largest oil spill, the greatest mobilization of spill response resources, and the first Gulf-wide deepwater drilling moratorium in U.S. history. Taking advantage of the unexpected nature of the spill and drilling moratorium, I estimate the net effects of these events on Gulf Coast employment and wages. Despite predictions of major job losses in Louisiana -- resulting from the spill and the drilling moratorium -- I find that Louisiana coastal parishes, and oil-intensive parishes in particular, experienced a net increase in employment and wages. In contrast, Gulf Coast Florida counties, especially those south of the Panhandle, experienced a decline in employment. Analysis of accommodation industry employment and wage, business establishment count, sales tax, and commercial air arrival data likewise show positive economic activity impacts in the oil-intensive coastal parishes of Louisiana and reduced economic activity along the Non-Panhandle Florida Gulf Coast.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20409

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