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Refuting two claims about virtual water trade

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  • Ansink, Erik

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ansink, Erik, 2010. "Refuting two claims about virtual water trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 2027-2032, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:10:p:2027-2032
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. M. Kumar & O. Singh, 2005. "Virtual Water in Global Food and Water Policy Making: Is There a Need for Rethinking?," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 19(6), pages 759-789, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2009. "International Trade and Transnational Insecurity: How Comparative Advantage and Power are Jointly Determined," CESifo Working Paper Series 2680, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. 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.
    7. Ansink, Erik & Weikard, Hans-Peter, 2009. "Contested water rights," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 247-260, June.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guangyao Deng & Liujuan Wang & Yanan Song, 2015. "Effect of Variation of Water-Use Efficiency on Structure of Virtual Water Trade - Analysis Based on Input–Output Model," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 29(8), pages 2947-2965, June.
    2. Fracasso, Andrea, 2014. "A gravity model of virtual water trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 215-228.
    3. Andrea Fracasso & Martina Sartori & Stefano Schiavo, 2014. "Determinants of Virtual Water Flows in the Mediterranean," IEFE Working Papers 75, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    4. Lenzen, Manfred & Moran, Daniel & Bhaduri, Anik & Kanemoto, Keiichiro & Bekchanov, Maksud & Geschke, Arne & Foran, Barney, 2013. "International trade of scarce water," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 78-85.
    5. repec:spr:waterr:v:32:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11269-017-1847-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Marta Antonelli & Martina Sartori, 2014. "Unfolding the Potential of the Virtual Water Concept. What is still under debate?," IEFE Working Papers 74, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    7. Reimer, Jeffrey J., 2012. "On the economics of virtual water trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 135-139.
    8. repec:spr:endesu:v:19:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10668-016-9770-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lenzen, Manfred & Bhaduri, Anik & Moran, Daniel & Kanemoto, Keiichiro & Bekchanov, Maksud & Geschke, Arne & Foran, Barney, 2012. "The role of scarcity in global virtual water flows," Discussion Papers 133478, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    10. Mohamad Afkhami & Thomas Bassetti & Hamed Ghoddusi & Filippo Pavesi, 2018. "Virtual Water Trade: The Implications of Capital Scarcity," Working Papers 03/2018, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    11. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/5l6uh8ogmqildh09h2qa1ccc1 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Alexandre Le Vernoy & Patrick Messerlin, 2010. "Water and the WTO: Don’t kill the messenger," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5l6uh8ogmqi, Sciences Po.
    13. Perry, Chris, 2014. "Water footprints: Path to enlightenment, or false trail?," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 119-125.
    14. Gawel, Erik & Bernsen, Kristina, 2011. "What is wrong with virtual water trading?," UFZ Discussion Papers 1/2011, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).

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