The Costs of Critical Habitat or Owl’s Well That Ends Well

20 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020 Last revised: 11 Nov 2020

See all articles by Jonathan Klick

Jonathan Klick

University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Date Written: September 11, 2020

Abstract

When the Fish and Wildlife Service designated land in four counties of Arizona as “critical habitat” necessary for the protection of the endangered cactus ferruginous pygmy‐owl, property values dropped considerably. When the owl was later delisted, property values jumped back up. We use difference-in-difference and synthetic control designs to identify this effect with Zillow property value data. The results provide an estimate of the costs of this critical habitat designation, and they are considerable, contrary to the regulators’ position that critical habitat protection imposes no incremental costs beyond the original endangered species listing.

Keywords: ESA; property value; conservation; owls

JEL Classification: K32; K11; Q57; Q58

Suggested Citation

Klick, Jonathan and Ruhl, J. B., The Costs of Critical Habitat or Owl’s Well That Ends Well (September 11, 2020). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 20-57, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3691269 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3691269

Jonathan Klick (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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2157463455 (Phone)

Erasmus School of Law ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

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Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

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