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The effect of globalization on water consumption: a case study of spanish virtual water trade, 1849-1935

Author

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  • Rosa Duarte

    ()

  • Vicente Pinilla
  • Ana Serrano

Abstract

This paper aims to analyse the impact on water consumption of the trade expansion of the first globalization era. To that end, we choose the case of Spain, a semi-arid country with significant cyclical water shortages that excelled as an exporter of agricultural and food products in the period of study. More specifically, we are interested in answering the following questions: What was the volume of water embodied in agricultural and food products exports, how did this variable evolve over time, what factors drove this evolution and what was the volume of water incorporated in imports of these products?. In short, we want to know the impact on water resources of Spain’s entry into agriculture and food markets. To explore these issues, we will use the concepts of virtual water and virtual water trade. First, we examine virtual water trade flows in the long run. Further, we attempt to disentangle certain major drivers underlying these trajectories. In order to establish the role played by trade in the final net balance of water, a Structural Decomposition Analysis (SDA) is applied. Finally, an analysis of the implications of the increase in virtual water trade on water resources is carried out.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosa Duarte & Vicente Pinilla & Ana Serrano, 2013. "The effect of globalization on water consumption: a case study of spanish virtual water trade, 1849-1935," Documentos de Trabajo de la Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria 1302, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:wpaper:1302
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    Keywords

    virtual water trade; environmental history; agricultural trade; water history;

    JEL classification:

    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • 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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