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On the Natural and Economic Difficulties to Fulfilling the Human Right to Water

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Author Info

  • Christopher Jeffords

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Farhed Shah

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

We present, to the best of our knowledge, the first economic model of the human right to water using a nonrenewable resource model inclusive of a backstop technology. The right is interpreted as a minimum consumption requirement the government is obligated to fulfill in the event that any one household cannot do so independently. Differing by income levels, households maximize utility by purchasing a composite consumption good and water from two distinct, government-owned sources. Facing physical and financial constraints, the government uses fiscal policy to address potential human rights violations. Reducing the analysis to two-periods, we develop a novel approach to compare total welfare levels from a joint human rights and economics perspective. We define a human rights welfare standard and discuss cases where traditional social welfare measures would meet, surpass, or violate this standard. We thus offer a unique way to merge economic analysis with human rights research.

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File URL: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/working/17.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute in its series Economic Rights Working Papers with number 17.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:ecriwp:17

Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Connecticut Thomas J. Dodd Research Center 405 Babbidge Road, Unit 1205 Storrs, CT 06269-1205
Phone: 860-486-8739
Fax: 860-486-6332
Web page: http://www.humanrights.uconn.edu/

Related research

Keywords: Nonrenewable resource; water; minimum consumption requirement; human right to water; government policy;

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References

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  1. Guillaume Gruere & Debdatta Sengupta, 2011. "Bt Cotton and Farmer Suicides in India: An Evidence-based Assessment," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 316-337.
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Cited by:
  1. Christopher Jeffords, 2012. "Constitutional Environmental Human Rights in India: Negating a Negating Statement," Economic Rights Working Papers 21, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute.

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