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As an economist, I study the factors that lead to the economic success (or economic decline) of places focusing on rural areas and small towns. I focus on attracting and keeping a highly skilled workforce, growing 21st century jobs, and the importance of enhancing the quality of life in communities.

Amanda Weinstein

Working Papers

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Quality of life across counties in the U.S. (2010)

Gender Differences in Quality of Life and Preferences for Location-specific Amenities across Cities” (2021) with C. Lockwood Reynolds, Journal of Regional Science.

Our results suggest that men and women's valuations of cities are correlated, suggesting commonality in preferences for many location‐based amenities, most notably natural resources, but there are also important deviations in valuations especially for local public goods and gender role attitudes.

Household Valuation of Energy Development in Amenity-Rich Regions” (2019) with Heather Stephens, Growth and Change.

We find that shale development negatively impacts house prices, more so for houses with private water and houses that are closer to the mountains, but that competition for land along the Front Range in Colorado has driven up house prices overall in the region.

Recession-Proof Skills, Cities, and Resilience in Economic Downturns” (2019) with Carlianne Patrick, Journal of Regional Science.

We provide the first evidence that a city's recovery from economic downturns depends upon the skill composition of occupations in the area. Occupations characterized by high cognitive and people skill requirements are less sensitive to recessions.

Firm Formation and Survival in the Shale Boom” (2019) with Shawn Rohlin and Mark Partridge, Small Business Economics.

New firm formation and sales initially decrease in shale boom oil and gas drilling regions, followed by a positive trend after the initial disruption. While new firm formation eventually recovers after many years, the overall impact on business dynamism is negative, suggesting that the areas most affected by this technological change may not benefit.

The Veteran Wage Differential” (2019) with Francesco Renna, Applied Economics.

Evidence suggests that veterans, on average, do relatively well in the private sector after they adjust to the disruption of separating from military service. Our results suggest that military experience may be helpful for individuals in the lower end of the distribution to succeed in the labor market.

Follow the Money: Aggregate, sectoral and spatial effects of an energy boom on local earnings” (2018) with Mark Partridge and Alexandra Tsvetkova, Resources Policy.

Our estimation results suggest that oil and gas earnings multipliers are relatively modest and mostly similar to oil and gas employment multipliers, with relatively large shares of the earnings leaving the county. 

Working Women in the City and Urban Wage Growth in the U.S.” (2017) Journal of Regional Science.

Women's participation in the workforce is positively related to subsequent wage growth in cities. Specifically, every 10 percent increase in female labor force participation rates is associated with an increase in real wages of nearly 5 percent.

Where are all the Self-Employed Women? Push and Pull Factors Influencing Female Labor Market Decisions” (2016) with Carlianne Patrick and Heather Stephens, Small Business Economics.


More egalitarian gender role attitudes pull married women into self-employment, while household burdens associated with children push them into self-employment. For unmarried women, the local business climate and individual characteristics have the strongest influence. In both cases, the motivations for women are quite different than men.

Local Labor Market Restructuring in the Shale Boom” (2014) Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 71-92.

Results suggest that the impact of shale development on employment is modest, with an employment multiplier from oil and gas development of approximately 1.3, meaning that for every 1 oil and gas job created, we would expect an additional 0.3 jobs created in other sectors, on average.

Rising Inequality in an Era of Austerity: The Case of the U.S.A.” (2013) with Mark Partridge, European Planning Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 388-410.

We provide evidence that there has been a reversal in the effects of inequality after 2000 with higher inequality now being associated with lower income and job growth in US cities.

An Aggregate Approach to Estimating Quality of Life in Micropolitan Areas” (2022) with Michael Hicks and Emily Wornell, The Annals of Regional Science.

We find compelling evidence that higher quality of life is not only associated with higher employment and population growth and lower poverty rates, but that it is more important than quality of the business environment in determining the success of micropolitan areas.

Other Publications and Reports

Improving quality of life—not just business—is the best path to Midwestern rejuvenation” with John Austin, Michael Hicks, and Emily Wornell, Brookings, January 26, 2022. 

Auburn vs. College Station, Greeley vs. Flagstaff – the surprising difference in where men and women prefer to live” with C. Lockwood Reynolds, MarketWatch, November 29, 2021.

“The Economic Benefit of the Harvey Solar Project” with Shawn Rohlin (June, 2021).

Falling Behind: How Ohio Continues to Lose its Place in the U.S. Economy” with Michael Hicks and Emily Wornell (December, 2020).

A movable force: the armed forces voting bloc” Election Analysis – United States (November, 2020).

The pandemic did not produce the predominant headwinds that changed the course of the country” Election Analysis – United States (November, 2020).

The Economic Impact of the Bowery Project in Downtown Akron” with Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley and Shawn Rohlin (May, 2019).

When More Women Join the Workforce, Wages Rise — Including for Men.” Harvard Business Review, January 31, 2018.

Unconventional Oil and Gas Development’s Impact on State and Local Economies” (2014) Choices, 4th Quarter.

“Too Many Heads and Not Enough Beds: Will Shale Development Cause a Housing Shortage?” with Michael Farren, Mark Partridge, and Michael Betz (March, 2013).

Making Shale Development Work for Ohio” with Michael Farren and Mark Partridge (June, 2012).

Linking Renewable Energy to Rural Development: United States Case Studies for Iowa, Tennessee, Maine and Vermont” produced for the OECD Regional Policy Division (June, 2012).

The Economic Value of Shale Natural Gas in Ohio” with Mark Partridge (December, 2011).

How Can Struggling Communities Make a Comeback?” with Mark Partridge (June, 2011).

Making Green Jobs Work for Ohio” with Mark Partridge (December, 2010).

Green Policies, Climate Change, and New Jobs: Separating Fact from Fiction” with Mark Partridge and J. Clay Francis. (June, 2010)

Book Chapters

The Impact of Emigration on Source Countries” (2021) with Sucharita Ghosh in The Economic Geography of Cross-Border Migration.

“Economic Implications of Unconventional Fossil Fuel Production” (2015) with Mark Partridge in Don Albrecht (Ed.) Our Energy Future: Socioeconomic Implications and Policy Options for Rural America. New York, NY: Routledge.

Green Jobs” (2014) with Mark Partridge in Timothy C. Haab and John C. Whitehead (Eds.) Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood.

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