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Water Shortages and Conflict

Author

Listed:
  • Antoine Soubeyran
  • Agnes Tomini

Abstract

This study analyzes the risk of a conflict between countries sharing freshwater. While some scholars claim that water-based conflicts can never occur, this analysis identifies a negotiation interval whose size depends on water availability and asymmetry in productive ability between countries. This interval is assimilated to the probability-toconflict which is decreasing with its size. We show that the risk of conflict increases with scarcer water resources but, as well, the higher the asymmetry level, the higher is the probability-to-conflict. Whenever this heterogeneity is extremely large, there is no opportunity for cooperation. Then, given the existence of this negotiation interval, we turn to the Nashbargaining solution to highlight the optimal water allocation. We show that the amount of water allocated to a country is decreasing as long its productive ability increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoine Soubeyran & Agnes Tomini, 2012. "Water Shortages and Conflict," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 122(2), pages 279-297.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_218_0279
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Grossman, Herschel I, 1994. "Production, Appropriation, and Land Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 705-712, June.
    9. Ansink, Erik & Weikard, Hans-Peter, 2009. "Contested water rights," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 247-260, June.
    10. Grossman, Herschel I, 1991. "A General Equilibrium Model of Insurrections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 912-921, September.
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