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Contested water rights

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  • Ansink, Erik
  • Weikard, Hans-Peter

Abstract

In many international river basins disputes over property rights to water lead to inefficient water allocation and a waste of resources. In this paper, we examine how contested water rights impede water trade. To show this, we use a model in which property rights to water are contested because countries have overlapping claims to water. In the model, countries decide whether to bargain over the allocation of contested river water or not. If not, they engage in conflict. In the conflict, countries spend their resources on production, which also requires water, or on fighting to secure part of the contested water. The resulting equilibrium is inefficient as both countries spend a positive amount of resources on fighting which is not productive. However, a third party may be requested to intervene in the looming conflict and allocate the water in an equitable way. The results show that for certain model parameters countries prefer not to bargain an efficient allocation, but to engage in conflict, hoping for third party intervention. The mere possibility of third party intervention may give rise to an inefficient equilibrium. Two new features of this paper are the application of a conflict model to the issue of water rights and the introduction of (overlapping) claims to non-cooperative bargaining problems.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 247-260

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Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:25:y:2009:i:2:p:247-260

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505544

Related research

Keywords: Bargaining Claims Conflict Property rights Third party intervention Water allocation;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Harold Houba & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2009. "Stone Age Equilibrium," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-092/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Antoine Soubeyran & Agnes Tomini, 2012. "Water Shortages and Conflict," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 122(2), pages 279-297.
  3. Erik Ansink & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2013. "Composition Properties in the River Claims Problem," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-199/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Heinrich Ursprung, 2012. "The evolution of sharing rules in rent seeking contests: Incentives crowd out cooperation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 149-161, October.
  5. Tridimas, George, 2011. "The political economy of power-sharing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 328-342, June.
  6. Marianne Lefebvre, 2011. "Sharing Rules for Common-Pool Resources when Self-insurance is Available: an Experiment," Working Papers 11-22, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jun 2012.
  7. Van Long, Ngo, 2013. "The theory of contests: A unified model and review of the literature," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 161-181.
  8. Ansink, Erik, 2011. "The Arctic scramble: Introducing claims in a contest model," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 693-707.
  9. Ilkilic, Rahmi & Kayi, Cagatay, 2012. "Allocation rules on networks," MPRA Paper 37305, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Harold Houba & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2009. "Stone Age Equilibrium," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-092/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  11. Raul Caruso, 2012. "Contest with cooperative behavior: a note," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1747-1754.
  12. Ansink, Erik, 2010. "Refuting two claims about virtual water trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 2027-2032, August.
  13. Weikard, Hans-Peter & Ansink, Erik & Gengenbach, Michael, 2013. "River Sharing and Water Trade," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79931, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  14. Erik Ansink, 2009. "Self-enforcing Agreements on Water allocation," Working Papers 2009.73, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  15. Erik Ansink & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2009. "Sequential Sharing Rules for River Sharing Problems," Working Papers 2009.114, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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