It is my belief that this methodology will provide a significantly better

It is my belief that this methodology will provide a

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It is my belief that this methodology will provide a significantly better estimate of cuteness than standard surveys, and moreover will do so for a much wider body of the American public. Once a cuteness measure has been established, I propose a variety of means to evaluate impact on conservation outcomes. As a first model, I propose taking species-specific characteristics which would have an influence on conservation outcomes, including species' biological order, physical size, type of habitat, range, etc., combining these with species-range geographical characteristics, such as percent urban or developing, habitat degradation, etc., and regressing these measures in combination with cuteness values on species risk status, most likely using a multinomial logit framework. Specifically, I envision an econometric model :
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Jesse Anttila-Hughes SDEV U9245 Enviro. & Resource Econ [email protected] Prof. Wolfram Schlenker S i = X i β + Y i γ + C i τ + ε i Where S i is the animal's conservation risk status, X i is a vector of species-specific characteristics, Y i is a vector of geographic characteristics associated with the species' range, C i is its cuteness statistic, and ε i is mean-zero error. A positive coefficient on C i would imply an effect of cuteness on conservation outcomes. A second potential specification would examine the amount of time between when an animal is proposed for listing to the threatened or endangered list and when it actually is accepted to that list. We formulate an OLS model: T i = X i β + Y i γ + C i τ + ε i Where T i is the amount of time an animal spent on the proposal list, and other variables are as above. Here, a negative coefficient on C i would imply that cuteness causes a species to be granted preferred conservation status more quickly. It should be noted that while the Endangered Species Act is monolithic in its guidelines for protection, for example precluding any economic concerns whatsoever, the process of getting onto the endangered species list is less removed from preference concerns. Brown (1998) notes that at time of writing “[t]here are nearly 200 species for which sufficient data exist on vulnerability to warrant endangered or threatened status, but the budgets for listing are inadequate to consummate the task.” Moreover, for several years a list of approximately 3000 creatures of “indefinite” conservation status was kept, until “confusion” concerns caused it to be abandoned. That animals may languish on either of these lists for non-negligible amounts of time does not seem an unusual hypothesis. A final model for testing the impact of aesthetic value on conservation outcomes deals not with changes in status, but rather with the protection that that status confers. While all animals on the endangered species list receive the same degree of protection legally, the extent to which that protection
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