Eyal Frank, Assistant Professor of Economics, Universityof Chicago
8:00-9:00 a.m., July 12, 2023, GMT+8
Zoom Meeting ID: 849 6673 1656 Passcode: 110194
Scientific evidence documents an ongoing mass extinction of species, caused by human activity. Allocating conservation resources is difficult due to scarce evidence on the damages from losing specific species. This paper studies the collapseof vultures in India, triggered by the expiry of a patent on a painkiller. Our results suggest the functional extinction of vultures --- efficient scavengers who removed carcassesfrom the environment --- increased human mortality by over 4% because of a large negative shock to sanitation. These effects are comparable to estimates of heat deaths from climate change. We quantify damages at $69.4 billion per-year.
Eyal Frank is an Aissistant froressor at the Harris School of Public Policy and the Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) at theUniversity of Chicago. He works at the intersection of economics and conservation, addressing three broad questions: (i) how do natural inputs, namely animals, contribute to different production functions of interest, (ii) how do market dynamics reduce natural habitats and lead to declining wild-life population levels, and (iii) what are the costs, indirect ones in particular, of conservation policies. To overcome causal inference challenges as manipulating ecosystems and species at large scales is often infeasible his work draws on natural experiments from ecology and policy, anduses econometric techniques to advance our understandingregarding the social cost of biodiversity losses.
Source: PKU Institute for Global Health and Development