Out of the roughly 6 million car accidents a year in the US, about 1-1.5 million of them are caused by collisions with wildlife, namely deer and elk. Wolves are known to place strong predatory pressure and change the behavior of these wildlife species. However, wolves were eradicated from the US and it is only in recent years that coordinated efforts have allowed them to re-establish throughout some of their historic range. This project seeks to estimate the relationship between accidents, injuries and deaths, as well as property damages, and the presence of wolves. This requires using data with high spatial and temporal granularity on car accidents and their causes, as well as data on the counts of deer, and presence of wolves. To date, we have compiled a large repository of vehicle collision data, as well as digitized maps of the presence of wolves over time. Estimation techniques will focus on using Regression Discontinuity Designs (comparing regions in Canada separated by a river that prevents wolves passing from one region to another), and Staggered Difference-In-Differences (using the reintroduction of wolves into parts of the United States). Proficiency in Stata is preferred.

This internship is available to Harris School of Public Policy graduate students. Application closes April 19, 2021.