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Refuting two claims about virtual water trade

  • Ansink, Erik

Using the Heckscher-Ohlin trade model, I refute two prominent but incorrect claims on virtual water trade. These claims are that virtual water trade (i) levels uneven water distribution, and (ii) reduces the potential for water conflict. Both claims are based on an incorrect understanding of comparative advantage in the production of water-intensive goods. The results show that both claims only hold under certain conditions, but do not necessarily follow from the Heckscher-Ohlin trade model.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 10 (August)
Pages: 2027-2032

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:10:p:2027-2032
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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  1. Aldaya, M.M. & Allan, J.A. & Hoekstra, A.Y., 2010. "Strategic importance of green water in international crop trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 887-894, February.
  2. Ansink, Erik & Weikard, Hans-Peter, 2009. "Contested water rights," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 247-260, June.
  3. Maria Berrittella & Katrin Rehdanz & Arjen Y. Hoekstra & Roberto Roson & Richard S.J. Tol, 2006. "The Economic Impact Of Restricted Water Supply: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," Working Papers FNU-93, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jul 2006.
  4. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2009. "International Trade and Transnational Insecurity: How Comparative Advantage and Power are Jointly Determined," Working Papers 080921, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  5. Wichelns, Dennis, 2004. "The policy relevance of virtual water can be enhanced by considering comparative advantages," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 49-63, April.
  6. Novo, P. & Garrido, A. & Varela-Ortega, C., 2009. "Are virtual water "flows" in Spanish grain trade consistent with relative water scarcity?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1454-1464, March.
  7. John Hoehn & Kwami Adanu, 2008. "Do growth, investment, and trade encourage water use or water conservation?," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 127-146, December.
  8. repec:iwt:jounls:h036595 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Yang, Hong & Zehnder, Alexander J. B., 2002. "Water Scarcity and Food Import: A Case Study for Southern Mediterranean Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1413-1430, August.
  10. Mark Zeitoun & Naho Mirumachi, 2008. "Transboundary water interaction I: reconsidering conflict and cooperation," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 297-316, December.
  11. Qadir, M. & Boers, Th. M. & Schubert, S. & Ghafoor, A. & Murtaza, G., 2003. "Agricultural water management in water-starved countries: challenges and opportunities," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 165-185, October.
  12. M. Kumar & O. Singh, 2005. "Virtual Water in Global Food and Water Policy Making: Is There a Need for Rethinking?," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 19(6), pages 759-789, December.
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