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Virtual water trade and country vulnerability: A network perspective

Author

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  • Sartori, Martina
  • Schiavo, Stefano

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the link between virtual water trade, that is, the flow of water embodied in the international trade of agricultural goods, and vulnerability to external shocks from the vantage point of network analysis. While a large body of work has shown that virtual water trade can enhance water saving on a global scale, being especially beneficial to arid countries, there are increasing concerns that more openness makes countries more dependent on foreign food suppliers and especially more susceptible to external shocks. Our evidence reveals that the increased globalization witnessed in the last 30 years is not associated with the increased frequency of adverse shocks (in either precipitation or food production). Furthermore, building on recent advances in network analysis that connect the stability of a complex system to the interaction between the distribution of shocks and the network topology, we find that the world is more interconnected, but not necessarily less stable.

Suggested Citation

  • Sartori, Martina & Schiavo, Stefano, 2014. "Virtual water trade and country vulnerability: A network perspective," MPRA Paper 59210, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:59210
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giorgio Fagiolo & Javier Reyes & Stefano Schiavo, 2010. "The evolution of the world trade web: a weighted-network analysis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 479-514, August.
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    3. Roberto Roson & Martina Sartori, 2010. "Water Scarcity and Virtual Water Trade in the Mediterranean," Working Papers 2010_08, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    4. Aldaya, M.M. & Allan, J.A. & Hoekstra, A.Y., 2010. "Strategic importance of green water in international crop trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 887-894, February.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Vasco M. Carvalho & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz‐Salehi, 2012. "The Network Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 1977-2016, September.
    6. Aizenman, Joshua, 2008. "On the hidden links between financial and trade opening," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 372-386, April.
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    10. Velazquez, Esther, 2007. "Water trade in Andalusia. Virtual water: An alternative way to manage water use," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 201-208, June.
    11. Daron Acemoglu & Asuman Ozdaglar & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2013. "The Network Origins of Large Economic Downturns," NBER Working Papers 19230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    virtual water trade; vulnerability; complex network; shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F18 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Environment
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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