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Conflict and Cooperation in Managing International Water Resources Such as the Great Lakes


  • Nir Becker
  • K. William Easter


Growing concerns about the availability of clean water supplies have stimulated increased interest in the management of international waters. This paper uses game theory to assess the potential for cooperative management of an international water body such as the Great Lakes. We demonstrate that a noncooperative solution is not the inevitable outcome for the use of an open access water resource. Stable cooperative coalitions are possible when a subset of users decides to cooperate. In our examples, once a minimum number of users decides to cooperate, the remaining noncooperators find that it is in their best interests to cooperate.

Suggested Citation

  • Nir Becker & K. William Easter, 1999. "Conflict and Cooperation in Managing International Water Resources Such as the Great Lakes," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(2), pages 233-245.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:75:y:1999:i:2:p:233-245

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    Cited by:

    1. Na Li Dawson & Kathleen Segerson, 2008. "Voluntary Agreements with Industries: Participation Incentives with Industry-Wide Targets," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(1), pages 97-114.
    2. Sheila M. Olmstead & Hilary Sigman, 2015. "Damming the Commons: An Empirical Analysis of International Cooperation and Conflict in Dam Location," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 497-526.
    3. Mehmet Kucukmehmetoglu, 2009. "A Game Theoretic Approach to Assess the Impacts of Major Investments on Transboundary Water Resources: The Case of the Euphrates and Tigris," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 23(15), pages 3069-3099, December.
    4. Mehmet Kucukmehmetoglu, 2011. "AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH BETWEEN GAME THEORY AND PARETO FRONTIER CONCEPTS FOR THE TRANSBOUNDARY WATER RESOURCES ALLOCATIONS: Case of the Euphrates and Tigris," ERSA conference papers ersa10p899, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Hathie, Ibrahima & Lopez, Rigoberto A., 2002. "Optimal Transboundary Water Diversion: The Case Of The Senegal River," 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA 19586, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. Breton, Michèle & Keoula, Michel Yevenunye, 2014. "A great fish war model with asymmetric players," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 209-223.
    7. Olmstead, Sheila M., 2014. "Climate change adaptation and water resource management: A review of the literature," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 500-509.
    8. Mehmet Kucukmehmetoglu, 2011. "Energy And Agricultural Policies Over The Transboundary Surface Water Resources," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1183, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Xiqin Wang & Yuan Zhang & Yong Zeng & Changming Liu, 2013. "Resolving Trans-jurisdictional Water Conflicts by the Nash Bargaining Method: A Case Study in Zhangweinan Canal Basin in North China," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(5), pages 1235-1247, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water


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