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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 collapse of 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 carcasses from 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.

Environmental Economics Seminar Series

Every Monday from 4.05 to 5.05 pm in Michaelmas Term

In person details: Manor Road Building Skills Lab - Tea and cake will be served 15 minutes beforehand.

Zoom details: Zoom link - Meeting ID: tbc - Password: 111133

For further information please contact Fulvia Marotta:


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Research Programmes