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The Institutional Economics of Water : A Cross-Country Analysis of Institutions and Performance


  • R. Maria Saleth
  • Ariel Dinar


This book provides a detailed and comprehensive evaluation of water reform and water sector performance from the perspectives of institutional economics and political economy. It integrates institutional theory with resource economics, and set against an exhaustive review of the theoretical and empirical literature, the authors develop an alternative methodology to quantitatively assess the performance of institutions in the context of water. This methodology is built on the principle of 'institutional ecology', the 'institutional decomposition and analysis' framework, and the 'subjective theory' of institutional change. Using this new methodology, plus information collected through an international survey of 127 water experts, the authors present a detailed empirical analysis of the process of institution-performance interaction in the water sector. Relying on the institutional transaction cost approach and an extensive cross-country review of recent water sector reforms, they also provide evidence on the relative role of various factors that influence the extent and depth of water institutional reforms in 43 countries and regions around the world. The book concludes with far reaching implications for the theory and policy of water sector reform in particular and institutional reform in general.

Suggested Citation

  • R. Maria Saleth & Ariel Dinar, 2004. "The Institutional Economics of Water : A Cross-Country Analysis of Institutions and Performance," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14884, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:14884

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Graeme Thompson, 1996. "Regulatory Policy Issues in Australia," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Malcom Edey (ed.), The Future of the Financial System Reserve Bank of Australia.
    2. Udaibir S Das & Marc G Quintyn, 2002. "Crisis Prevention and Crisis Management; The Role of Regulatory Governance," IMF Working Papers 02/163, International Monetary Fund.
    3. de Luna Martinez, Jose & Rose, Thomas A., 2003. "International survey of integrated financial sector supervision," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3096, The World Bank.
    4. Marc Quintyn & Michael W. Taylor, 2003. "Regulatory and Supervisory Independence and Financial Stability," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(2), pages 259-294.
    5. Brimmer, Andrew F, 1989. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: Central Banking and Systemic Risks in Capital Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 3-16, Spring.
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