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Beyond the Lamppost: Optimal Prevention and Control of the Brown Treesnake in Hawaii

  • Kimberly Burnett

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Puget Sound)

  • Sean D’Evelyn

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

  • Brooks Kaiser

    (Department of Economics, Gettysburg College)

  • Porntawee Nantamanasikarn

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

  • James Roumasset

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

In this paper, an integrated model for the prevention and control of an invasive species is developed. The generality of the model allows it to be used for both existing and potential threats to the system of interest. The deterministic nature of arrivals in the model allows for a clear examination of the tradeoffs inherent when choosing between prevention and control strategies. We illuminate how optimal expenditure paths change in response to various biological and economic parameters for the case of the Brown treesnake in Hawaii. Results suggest that it is more advantageous to spend money finding the small population of snakes as they occur than attempting to prevent all future introductions. Like the drunk that looks for his keys only where the light is, public policy may fail to look “beyond the lamppost” for snakes that have already arrived but have not yet been detected. Actively searching for a potential population of snakes rather than waiting for an accidental discovery may save Hawaii tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in future damages, interdiction expenditures, and control costs.

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File URL: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/research/workingpapers/WP_07-14.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 200714.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200714
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  1. Margolis, Michael & Shogren, Jason F. & Fischer, Carolyn, 2005. "How trade politics affect invasive species control," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 305-313, February.
  2. Horan, Richard D. & Lupi, Frank, 2005. "Tradeable risk permits to prevent future introductions of invasive alien species into the Great Lakes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 289-304, February.
  3. Olson, Lars J. & Roy, Santanu, 2005. "On Prevention and Control of an Uncertain Biological Invasion," Working Papers 28595, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  4. Mark Eiswerth & Wayne Johnson, 2002. "Managing Nonindigenous Invasive Species: Insights from Dynamic Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(3), pages 319-342, November.
  5. Lupi, Frank & Horan, Richard D., 2005. "Economic Incentives for Controlling Trade-Related Biological Invasions in the Great Lakes," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 34(1), April.
  6. Lars J. Olson & Santanu Roy, 2002. "The Economics of Controlling a Stochastic Biological Invasion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1311-1316.
  7. Chad Settle & Jason E Shogren, 2002. "Modeling Native-Exotic Species within Yellowstone Lake," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1323-1328.
  8. Knowler, D., 2005. "Reassessing the costs of biological invasion: Mnemiopsis leidyi in the Black sea," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 187-199, January.
  9. Christopher Costello & Carol McAusland, 2003. "Protectionism, Trade, and Measures of Damage from Exotic Species Introductions," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 964-975.
  10. Leung, Brian & Finnoff, David & Shogren, Jason F. & Lodge, David, 2005. "Managing invasive species: Rules of thumb for rapid assessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 24-36, October.
  11. Loomis, John B. & White, Douglas S., 1996. "Economic benefits of rare and endangered species: summary and meta-analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 197-206, September.
  12. Perrings, Charles, 2005. "Mitigation and adaptation strategies for the control of biological invasions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 315-325, February.
  13. Richard D. Horan & Charles Perrings & Frank Lupi & Erwin H. Bulte, 2002. "Biological Pollution Prevention Strategies under Ignorance:The Case of Invasive Species," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1303-1310.
  14. Buhle, Eric R. & Margolis, Michael & Ruesink, Jennifer L., 2005. "Bang for buck: cost-effective control of invasive species with different life histories," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 355-366, February.
  15. Burnett, Kimberly M. & Kaiser, Brooks A. & Pitafi, Basharat A.K. & Roumasset, James A., 2006. "Prevention, Eradication, and Containment of Invasive Species: Illustrations from Hawaii," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 35(1), April.
  16. McAusland, Carol & Costello, Christopher, 2004. "Avoiding invasives: trade-related policies for controlling unintentional exotic species introductions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 954-977, September.
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