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The Process and Performance of Decentralization of River Basin Resource Management: A Global Analysis

  • Dinar, Ariel
  • Kemper, Karin
  • Blomquist, William
  • Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep

This paper focuses on empirically assessing determinants of river basin management decentralization, which is poorly understood while growing in popularity world wide. Measuring decentralization as a shift of decision making responsibility to water users or governments at the river basin level or below, the analysis sheds light on the decentralization reform process and its success, using primary data from 83 river basins world wide. Contrary to common perception water scarcity is found to be a stimulus to reform and financially endowed or developed basins do not outperform poor an underdeveloped basins; conditions improving decentralization performance include: existence of dispute resolution mechanisms; greater financial responsibility of users; and external government financial support of basin budget.

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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA with number 21093.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea06:21093
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  1. Oechssler, Jorg, 1997. "Decentralization and the coordination problem," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 119-135, January.
  2. 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.
  3. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  4. Alderman, Harold, 2002. "Do local officials know something we don't? Decentralization of targeted transfers in Albania," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 375-404, March.
  5. Cerniglia, Floriana, 2003. "Decentralization in the public sector: quantitative aspects in federal and unitary countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 749-776, November.
  6. Mody, Jyothsna, 2004. "Achieving accountability through decentralization : lessons for integrated river basin management," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3346, The World Bank.
  7. Shah, Anwar, 1998. "Balance, accountability, and responsiveness : lessons about decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2021, The World Bank.
  8. Hilary Sigman, 2004. "Transboundary Spillovers and Decentralization of Environmental Policies," NBER Working Papers 10717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Koppel, Bruce, 1987. "Does integrated area development work? Insights from the Bicol River Basin Development Program," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 205-220, February.
  10. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Does decentralization increase government responsiveness to local needs?: Evidence from Bolivia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 867-893, March.
  11. Merrey, D. J., 2000. "Creating institutional arrangements for managing water-scarce river basins: emerging research results," Conference Papers h030851, International Water Management Institute.
  12. Blomquist, William & Dinar, Ariel & Kemper, Karin, 2005. "Comparison of institutional arrangements for river basin management in eight basins," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3636, The World Bank.
  13. Antonio Estache, 1995. "Decentralizing Infrastructure: Advantages and Limitations," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44118, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2000. "Distributional outcomes of a decentralized welfare program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2316, The World Bank.
  15. Antonio Estache & Frannie Humplick, 1995. "Does decentralization improve infrastructure performance?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44079, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  16. Panizza, Ugo, 1999. "On the determinants of fiscal centralization: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 97-139, October.
  17. John Joseph Wallis & Wallace E. Oates, 1988. "Decentralization in the Public Sector: An Empirical Study of State and Local Government," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Federalism: Quantitative Studies, pages 5-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Dinar, Ariel & Kemper, Karin & Blomquist, William & Diez, Michele & Sine, Gisele & Fru, William, 2005. "Decentralization of river basin management : a global analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3637, The World Bank.
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