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Water and common goods: community management asa a possible alternative to the public-private model

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  • Alba Distaso

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Basilicata (Italy))

  • Margherita Ciervo

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Foggia (Italy))

Abstract

In this paper we demonstrate that in economic systems characterised by social structures founded on reciprocal trust and interpersonal relations, water is a common good. In order to verify this, we refer to an economy of reciprocity practiced by some indigenous communities of the Bolivian Andes. We compare water management in these communities with another case of collective provision of water services now present and functioning in some areas of the Italian Alps and Apennines. In the examined case studies, we find that any kind of water property regime other than that the indigenous communities practice represents not only an inefficient system of management of the resource but also a reduction in relational goods. In both cases, water is a resource to exploit, and also a means to strengthen the interpersonal relations and the identity of the community.

Suggested Citation

  • Alba Distaso & Margherita Ciervo, 2011. "Water and common goods: community management asa a possible alternative to the public-private model," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 119(2), pages 143-166.
  • Handle: RePEc:vep:journl:y:2011:v:119:i:2:p:143-166
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Water; Economy of Common Goods; Economy of Reciprocity; Community Management;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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