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Managing Risks and Tradeoffs Using Water Markets

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  • Suzi Kerr

    ()
    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

Abstract

Risk (and often the certainty) of adverse environmental outcomes motivates environmental regulation; other risks also affect welfare outcomes. Economic instruments are one way to reduce environmental risk while maintaining flexibility that helps manage other risks. However regulation not only mitigates risks, it also creates them. While the literature has explored some aspects of risk and economic instruments in great detail, other risks have been largely ignored. Actual and perceived risks are often a barrier to the use of economic instruments so, where they are appropriate, it would be valuable to pay more attention to mitigating risks and demonstrating that they can be mitigated. This note creates a framework for synthesising experience with economic instruments for managing risks relating to water quantity and quality and illustrates it with two New Zealand case studies for which detailed information is available. It also explores some linkages between economic instruments that are not primarily directed at water management – for example emissions trading - and water management outcomes. The surprising outcomes illustrate the importance of context for assessing impact and risk.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 13_13.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:13_13

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Keywords: water quality; Lake Taupo; Lake Rotorua; economic instruments; risk; policy interaction;

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  1. Kim, Man-Keun & McCarl, Bruce A., 2009. "Uncertainty Discounting for Land-Based Carbon Sequestration," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 41(01), April.
  2. Montero, Juan-Pablo, 2000. "Optimal design of a phase-in emissions trading program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 273-291, February.
  3. Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2003. "Regulating stock externalities under uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(2, Supple), pages 416-432, March.
  4. Newell, Richard G & Stavins, Robert N, 2003. "Cost Heterogeneity and the Potential Savings from Market-Based Policies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 43-59, January.
  5. M. L. Weitzman, 1973. "Prices vs. Quantities," Working papers 106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Austin, David & Alberini, Anna, 1998. "Strict Liability as a Deterrent in Toxic Waste Management: Empirical Evidence from Accident and Spill Data," Discussion Papers dp-98-16, Resources For the Future.
  7. Suzi Kerr & Andrew Sweet, 2008. "Inclusion of Agriculture and Forestry in a Domestic Emissions Trading Scheme: New Zealand's Experience to Date," Working Papers 08_04, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  8. Daigneault, Adam J. & Greenhalgh, Suzie & Samarasinghe, Oshadhi, 2012. "Economic Impacts of GHG and Nutrient Reduction Policies in New Zealand: A Tale of Two Catchments," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124284, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  9. Richard D. Horan & James S. Shortle, 2005. "When Two Wrongs Make a Right: Second-Best Point-Nonpoint Trading Ratios," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(2), pages 340-352.
  10. Steven Shavell, 1984. "A Model of the Optimal Use of Liability and Safety Regulation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 271-280, Summer.
  11. R. Scott Farrow & Martin T. Schultz & Pinar Celikkol & George L. Van Houtven, 2005. "Pollution Trading in Water Quality Limited Areas: Use of Benefits Assessment and Cost-Effective Trading Ratios," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 81(2).
  12. Shortle, James S. & Horan, Richard D., 2008. "The Economics of Water Quality Trading," International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, now publishers, vol. 2(2), pages 101-133, October.
  13. Lichtenberg, Erik & Zilberman, David, 1988. "Efficient Regulation of Environmental Health Risks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 167-78, February.
  14. Juan-Pablo Montero, 1999. "Voluntary Compliance with Market-Based Environmental Policy: Evidence from the U.S. Acid Rain Program," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 998-1033, October.
  15. Richard T. Woodward, 2003. "Lessons about Effluent Trading from a Single Trade," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 235-245.
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