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Composition properties in the river claims problem

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  • Erik Ansink
  • Hans-Peter Weikard

Abstract

In a river claims problem, agents are ordered linearly, and they have both an initial water endowment as well as a claim to the total water resource. We provide characterizations of two solutions to this problem, using Composition properties which have particularly relevant interpretations for the river claims problem. Specifically, these properties relate to situations where river flow is uncertain or highly variable, possibly due to climate change impacts. The only solution that satisfies all Composition properties is the ‘Harmon rule’ induced by the Harmon Doctrine, which says that agents are free to use any water available on their territory, without concern for downstream impacts. The other solution that we assess is the ‘No-harm rule’, an extreme interpretation of the “no-harm” principle from international water law, which implies that water is allocated with priority to downstream needs. In addition to characterizing both solutions, we show their relation to priority rules and to sequential sharing rules, and we extend our analysis to general river systems. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Ansink & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2015. "Composition properties in the river claims problem," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(4), pages 807-831, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:sochwe:v:44:y:2015:i:4:p:807-831
    DOI: 10.1007/s00355-014-0862-3
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    Cited by:

    1. Ansink, Erik & Gengenbach, Michael & Weikard, Hans-Peter, 2012. "River Sharing and Water Trade," Climate Change and Sustainable Development 122860, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    2. Thomson, William, 2015. "Axiomatic and game-theoretic analysis of bankruptcy and taxation problems: An update," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 41-59.
    3. Rene van den Brink & Saish Nevrekar, 2020. "Peaceful Agreements to Share a River," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 20-016/II, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Ansink, Erik & Houba, Harold, 2016. "Sustainable agreements on stochastic river flow," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 92-117.
    5. Erik Ansink & Carmen Marchiori, 2015. "Reallocating Water: An Application of Sequential Sharing Rules to Cyprus," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(04), pages 1-22, December.
    6. Erik Ansink & Carmen Marchiori, 2015. "Reallocating Water: An Application of Sequential Sharing Rules to Cyprus," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(04), pages 1-22, December.
    7. Erik Ansink & Harold Houba, 2014. "The Economics of Transboundary River Management," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-132/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    8. Gudmundsson, Jens & Hougaard, Jens Leth & Ko, Chiu Yu, 2019. "Decentralized mechanisms for river sharing," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 67-81.
    9. Jorge Alcalde-Unzu & María Gómez-Rúa & Elena Molis, 2021. "Allocating the costs of cleaning a river: expected responsibility versus median responsibility," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 50(1), pages 185-214, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    River claims problem; Sharing rule; Harmon Doctrine; Composition axioms; Water allocation; D63; C71; Q25;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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