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Experimental Economics and Water Policy

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  • Duke, Charlotte
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    Abstract

    Experiments in economics and their application to policy design continue to gain increasing popular appeal. Australia is investing in training, capacity building and international partnerships to bring these skills to our policy makers. Economic experiments are used to test policy-related hypotheses: to examine the behavioural processes upon which the policy is built, identify policy bugs, confirm incentive mechanism performance, investigate new decision processes, and illustrate economic allocation systems to stakeholders. Experiments provide a new source of information to improve policy design. This paper explores a set of experiments conducted for the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality Market Based Instruments Pilots Program. The experiments test bed water and salt markets. The pilot region is the Sunraysia in northern Victoria, Australia. The paper looks at, -How economic experiments can answer policy questions important for field implementation, using the questions posed by stakeholders in Sunraysia. -How economic experiments complement economic theory, using examples from the salinity and water allocation problem in Sunraysia. -Provide examples of other water policy experiments. These experiments address water allocation questions important to Australia. The objective of the paper is to reveal both the strengths and limits of economic experiments for policy. The paper is based on my experiences using experiments for policy design in the role of a research economist for government and as a PhD researcher at University.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/25369
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia with number 25369.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25369

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    Related research

    Keywords: Policy Experiments; Market mechanisms for the environment; Water; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy; Q25; Q28; C90;

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    1. NeilJ. Buckley & Stuart Mestelman & R.Andrew Muller, 2006. "Implications Of Alternative Emission Trading Plans: Experimental Evidence," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 149-166, 06.
    2. Klemperer, Paul, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 2581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. KLAUS ABBINK & MOLLER, Lars Christian & SARAH O’HARA, 2005. "The Syr Darya River Conflict: An Experimental Case Study," Discussion Papers 2005-14, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    4. Noussair, C.N. & Plott, C. & Riezman, R., 1995. "An experimental investigation of the patterns of international trade," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-387775, Tilburg University.
    5. Stavins, Robert N., 1996. "Correlated Uncertainty and Policy Instrument Choice," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 218-232, March.
    6. C. Duke & L. Gangadharan, 2005. "Salinity in Water Markets : An ExperimentalInvestigation of the Sunraysia Salinity Levy, Victoria," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 950, The University of Melbourne.
    7. Cason, Timothy N. & Gangadharan, Lata & Duke, Charlotte, 2003. "A laboratory study of auctions for reducing non-point source pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 446-471, November.
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