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Groundwater use under incomplete information

  • Saak, Alexander E.
  • Peterson, Jeffrey M.

In this paper, we introduce a game theoretic model of groundwater extraction in a two-cell aquifer under incomplete information. A novel assumption is that individual users have incomplete knowledge of the speed of lateral flows in the aquifer: although a user is aware that his neighbor's water use has some influence on their future water stock, they are uncertain about the degree of this impact. We find that the lack of information may either increase or decrease the rate of water use and welfare. In a two-period framework, the relevant characteristic is the ratio of the periodic marginal benefits of water use. Depending on whether this ratio is convex or concave, the average speed with which the aquifer is depleted decreases or increases when users learn more about the local hydrologic properties of groundwater. We also show that the effect of better information on the welfare of the average producer may be negative even in the situations when, on average, groundwater is allocated more efficiently across irrigation seasons.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 54 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
Pages: 214-228

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:54:y:2007:i:2:p:214-228
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  1. Eswaran, Mukesh & Lewis, Tracy R, 1984. "Appropriability and the Extraction of a Common Property Resource," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(204), pages 393-400, November.
  2. Kim, C. S. & Moore, Michael R. & Hanchar, John J. & Nieswiadomy, Michael, 1989. "A dynamic model of adaptation to resource depletion: theory and an application to groundwater mining," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 66-82, July.
  3. Phoebe Koundouri, 2004. "Current Issues in the Economics of Groundwater Resource Management," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(5), pages 703-740, December.
  4. Sanchirico, James N. & Wilen, James E., 2005. "Optimal spatial management of renewable resources: matching policy scope to ecosystem scale," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 23-46, July.
  5. Provencher Bill & Burt Oscar, 1993. "The Externalities Associated with the Common Property Exploitation of Groundwater," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 139-158, March.
  6. Jeffrey M. Peterson & Ya Ding, 2005. "Economic Adjustments to Groundwater Depletion in the High Plains: Do Water-Saving Irrigation Systems Save Water?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(1), pages 147-159.
  7. Harrington Jr. , Joseph E., 1995. "Experimentation and Learning in a Differentiated-Products Duopoly," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 275-288, June.
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