Economies of Scope in Endangered-Species Protection: Evidence from Interest-Group Behavior
This paper looks for positive spillovers from the legal protection of one species to the welfare of others, and for evidence of economies of scope in the costs associated with protecting species under the Endangered Species Act. The analyses use data on the intensity of interest-group comment activity in response to proposals to protect new species. The results suggest that these phenomena are significant, strengthening arguments that wildlife-protection policy should be shifted towards species groups or ecosystems. However, the findings are also consistent with diminishing public willingness-to-pay for protected species in a given area, a pattern which also has public-policy implications.
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