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Evaluating the efficiency of conservation efforts: a frontier regression approach




Keenan, Andrew, author
Kling, Robert, advisor
Anderson, Aaron, committee member
Goemans, Chris, committee member
Pena, Anita, committee member

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Conservation efforts in the United Kingdom began in 1949 with the Nature Conservancy Act. The goals of this legislation were to preserve natural areas and areas inhabited by threatened and endangered species, as well as provide the opportunity for research. The objective of this thesis is to apply stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) to better evaluate the efficiency of threatened and endangered species conservation efforts. SFA will build upon previous analysis that uses cost-utility analysis to measure the effectiveness of a Species Action Plan (SAP). This new application of a SFA will help improve the assessment of efficiency of government programs, and is an improvement from existing conservation efficiency measures because the analysis does not require assumptions of the value of a species. The absence of assumptions on value helps the analysis reflect actual funding decisions and better allows for interspecies comparisons. The results will not only provide a more robust analysis, but also have practical application in evaluating the efficiency of a species recovery and give conservation efforts a better measurement tool. With an effective efficiency measure in place, programs will be better judged and shifts in funding or changes to specific plans are possible.


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species conservation
stochastic frontier analysis
conservation output protection years


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