A Public Choice Analysis of Endangered Species Listings
Sizable economic consequences may resultfrom listing under the Endangered SpeciesAct (ESA). Potentially adversely affectedparties will attempt to use the politicalprocess to protect their interests. Thequestion is, “are listing determinationssubject to political manipulation?” Inthis paper, we explore empirically thepossibility that implementation of the ESAis determined, in part, by politicalconsiderations. Specifically, weinvestigate whether states with strongcongressional representation are able touse their political muscle to reduce thenumber of listings in their states, ascompared to states with weak congressionalrepresentation. Controlling for otherfactors, we find that states with greaterrepresentation on the U.S. Fish andWildlife Service’s budgetary oversightsubcommittee in the U.S. House ofRepresentatives have significantly fewerESA listings than states with weakerrepresentation on that subcommittee. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004
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