Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Buffalo Hunt: International Trade and the Virtual Extinction of the North American Bison"

Scott Taylor, Professor of Economics,University of Calgary
Friday, May
16, 2008

4:00-5:30 pm
Bren Hall 1424

Part of the 2007-2008 seminar series in Environmental & Natural Resource Economics


In the 16th century, North America was home to 25 million to 30 million buffalo; by the late 19th century, fewer than 100 remained. While removing the buffalo east of the Mississippi took settlers over 100 years, the remaining 10 to 15 million buffalo on the Great Plains were killed in a punctuated slaughter in little more than 10 years. I employ theory, data from international trade statistics, and first-person accounts to argue that the slaughter on the plains was initiated by a foreign-made innovation and fueled by a foreign demand for industrial leather. Ironically, the ultimate cause of this sad chapter in American environmental history was of European, not American, origin.


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