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Mixing Oil and Water. Studies of the Namibian Economy

Listed author(s):
  • Stage, Jesper


    (Department of Social Sciences, Mid Sweden University)

This thesis consists of four papers studying economic aspects of natural resource and environmental management in Namibia. Paper [I] analyses changes in Namibian energy use patterns between 1980 and 1998. The study finds that, unlike their counterparts in many other developing countries where energy use has been studied, Namibian energy users appear to have been quite flexible in changing to energy-saving technologies and to technologies using different energy sources altogether. One explanation for this difference may be that Namibia has had relatively high energy prices and has had high taxes on oil-based fuels, which may have made Namibian energy users more interested in potential energy savings. Paper [I] has been published in the South African Journal of Economics (link: (Stage, J. (2002). Structural shifts in Namibian energy use: An input-output approach) Paper [II] studies variables affecting property pricing in the township areas of Windhoek, Namibias capital city. Plots close to a garbage dump sell at substantial discounts, while plots close to a recreation area sell at premium prices. These results suggest that environmental quality may be more important for households in township areas than has previously been believed. Neglecting issues of environmental quality in town planning for township areas may thus be a serious omission. Paper [II] has been published in Environment and Development Economics (link: (Humavindu, M. N. and Stage, J. (2003). Hedonic pricing in Windhoek townships) Paper [III] uses Namibian farm price data to study the impact of groundwater access on farm profitability. Potentially, groundwater can function both as an extra source of water in areas with low rainfall and as a buffer source of water in areas where rainfall is higher but variable. If groundwater mainly functions as a buffer source of water in high-rainfall areas, it could be replaced by various means of water storage fairly easily. Providing extra water by other means in low-rainfall areas, on the other hand, is likely to be prohibitively expensive. The study does not provide clear-cut results, suggesting that on precautionary principles one should assume that groundwater will be difficult to replace with other water sources. Paper [III] has been published in Development Southern Africa (link: (Stage, J. and Williams, R. (2003). Implicit water pricing in Namibian farmland markets) Paper [IV] studies optimal allocation between commercial and recreational fishing for one of Namibias fish species, the kob. The biological dynamics of the kob are modelled using an age-class model with age-specific mortalities, in order to capture the fact that the two fisheries target different age classes. The length of the planning horizon is crucial for the results: If a short planning horizon is used, the results indicate that a large share of the catches should be allocated to commercial fishing. With a longer planning horizon, however, the higher profitability of recreational angling leads to the conclusion that it would be preferable to limit commercial fishing in order to permit kob stocks to recover and improve angling success. Paper [IV] will appear in Natural Resource Modeling (link: (Stage, J. (2004): Optimal harvesting in an age-class model with age-specific mortalities)

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Paper provided by Umeå University, Department of Economics in its series Umeå Economic Studies with number 611.

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Length: 126 pages
Date of creation: 09 Sep 2003
Date of revision: 19 Nov 2004
Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0611
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Phone: 090 - 786 61 42
Fax: 090 - 77 23 02
Web page:

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  1. Squires, Dale, 1987. "Fishing effort: Its testing, specification, and internal structure in fisheries economics and management," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 268-282, September.
  2. Kjell Salvanes & Dale Squires, 1995. "Transferable quotas, enforcement costs and typical firms: An empirical application to the Norwegian trawler fleet," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21, July.
  3. H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124-124.
  4. Mohammad Alam & Ishak Omar & Dale Squires, 1996. "Sustainable resource use, economic development, and public regulation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(2), pages 117-132, March.
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