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Public Provision and Protection of Natural Resources: Groundwater Irrigation in Rural India

Author

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  • Sheetal Sekhri

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects of a public groundwater provision program on water tables in Northern India. I theorize that public provision leads to sustainable use of groundwater when the fixed costs for private well provision are high. I use village-level longitudinal data on aquifers and wells, and exploit the physical and technological limitations of surface pumps that generate a cost difference at a specific water depth to test this model. My findings suggest that public provision can be used as an alternative in scenarios where prohibitive monitoring costs might preclude the use of other regulatory approaches to prevent over-extraction. (JEL O13, O18, Q15, Q25, Q28, Q53, Q58)

Suggested Citation

  • Sheetal Sekhri, 2011. "Public Provision and Protection of Natural Resources: Groundwater Irrigation in Rural India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 29-55, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:3:y:2011:i:4:p:29-55
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.3.4.29
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    Cited by:

    1. Sheetal Sekhri, 2013. "Missing Water: Agricultural Stress and Adaptation Strategies in Response to Groundwater Depletion in India," Virginia Economics Online Papers 406, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
    2. Shreyasee Das, 2012. "State Rights over Water and Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from the Krishna Basin," Working Papers 12-03, UW-Whitewater, Department of Economics.
    3. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee & Neha Kumar, 2009. "State-Led or Market-Led Green Revolution? Role of Private Irrigation Investment vis-a-vis Local Government Programs in West Bengal’s Farm Productivity Growth," Working Papers id:2209, eSocialSciences.
    4. Richard Hornbeck & Pinar Keskin, 2011. "The Evolving Impact of the Ogallala Aquifer: Agricultural Adaptation to Groundwater and Climate," NBER Working Papers 17625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michael Greenstone & B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field," NBER Working Papers 19426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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