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Title page for ETD etd-03232015-105035

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Byl, Jacob Peter
Author's Email Address jakebyl@gmail.com
URN etd-03232015-105035
Title Toward More Effective Endangered Species Regulation
Degree PhD
Department Law and Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
J.B. Ruhl Committee Chair
Cindy D. Kam Committee Member
Kathryn Anderson Committee Member
W. Kip Viscusi Committee Member
  • Conservation
  • Endangered Species
  • Experiment
  • Environmental Markets
Date of Defense 2015-03-10
Availability unrestricted
The Endangered Species Act is a strong environmental law that gives federal agencies authority to conserve imperiled species by regulating private and public parties. In this dissertation, I use data on timber harvests near endangered woodpeckers in North Carolina to estimate that landowners are 25% more likely to harvest mature pine trees if there are woodpeckers nearby. A safe-harbor program appears to have a modest effect on slowing the destruction of habitat. I next use a computer-based experiment to confirm that the safe-harbor program is an improvement for both landowners and endangered species over the status quo of strict regulation. A policy with strong financial incentives is most effective at encouraging landowner cooperation, but weak financial incentives are surprisingly ineffective. Finally, I explore the role of cost-benefit analysis of critical habitat designation under the Endangered Species Act. The current agency methodology leads to estimates of low costs and zero benefits of critical habitat. I argue that agencies should use a broader concept of costs and benefits because it is a better reading of the Act and can lead to more effective regulations.
  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
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