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Monopoly power and distribution in fragmented markets : the case of groundwater

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  • Jacoby, Hanan G.*Murgai, Rinku*Rehman, Saeed Ur

Abstract

Using data from Pakistan's Punjab, the authors examine monopoly power in the market for groundwater - irrigation water extracted using private tubewells - a market characterized by barriers to entry and spatial fragmentation. Simple theory predicts that tubewell owners should price-discriminate in favor of their own share tenants. And this analysis of individual groundwater transactions over an 18-month period confirms such price discrimination. And among those studied, tubewell owners and their tenants use considerably more groundwater on their plots than do other farmers. The authors also provide evidence that monopoly pricing of groundwater leads to compensating - albeit small - reallocations of canal water, which farmers exchange in a separate informal market. Despite the substantial misallocation of groundwater, a welfare analysis show that monopoly pricing has limited effects on equity and efficiency. In the long run, a policy aimed at eliminating monopoly pricing would do little to help the poorest farmers.

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  • Jacoby, Hanan G.*Murgai, Rinku*Rehman, Saeed Ur, 2001. "Monopoly power and distribution in fragmented markets : the case of groundwater," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2628, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2628
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    Cited by:

    1. Banerji, A. & Meenakshi, J.V. & Khanna, Gauri, 2012. "Social contracts, markets and efficiency: Groundwater irrigation in North India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 228-237.
    2. Gine,Xavier & Jacoby,Hanan G. & Gine,Xavier & Jacoby,Hanan G., 2016. "Markets, contracts, and uncertainty in a groundwater economy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7694, The World Bank.
    3. Michler, Jeffrey D. & Wu, Steven Y., 2020. "Governance and contract choice: Theory and evidence from groundwater irrigation markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 129-147.
    4. Mukherji, Aditi, 2007. "The energy-irrigation nexus and its impact on groundwater markets in eastern Indo-Gangetic basin: Evidence from West Bengal, India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6413-6430, December.
    5. Gauri Khanna, 2006. "Technical Efficiency in Production and Resource Use in Sugar Cane: A Stochastic Frontier Production Function Analysis," IHEID Working Papers 15-2006, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    6. Gáfaro, Margarita & Mantilla, Cesar, 2021. "Environmental valuation using bargaining games: an application to water," OSF Preprints tcfyb, Center for Open Science.
    7. Sheila M. Olmstead, 2010. "The Economics of Managing Scarce Water Resources," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 179-198, Summer.
    8. Nasim, Sanval & Helfand, Steven & Dinar, Ariel, 2020. "Groundwater management under heterogeneous land tenure arrangements," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    9. Chen, Tao & Tripathi, Gautam, 2017. "A simple consistent test of conditional symmetry in symmetrically trimmed tobit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 198(1), pages 29-40.
    10. A.Banerji & Gauri Khanna & J.V. Meenakshi, 2006. "Markets, Institutions And Efficiency Groundwater Irrigation In North India," Working papers 152, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    11. Françeska Tomori & Erik Ansink & Harold Houba & Nick Hagerty & Charles Bos, 2021. "Market power in California's water market," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 21-011/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Yashodha, Y., 2018. "Bargaining and Contract Choice: Evidence from Informal Groundwater Contracts," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 276035, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Pandey, Rita, 2014. "Groundwater Irrigation in Punjab: Some Issues and Way Forward," Working Papers 14/140, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    14. A. Banerji & J. V. Meenakshi & Gauri Khanna, "undated". "Groundwater Irrigation in North India: Institutions and Markets," Working papers 17, The South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics.
    15. Ansink, Erik & Houba, Harold, 2012. "Market power in water markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 237-252.
    16. Kristiana Hansen & Jonathan Kaplan & Stephan Kroll, 2014. "Valuing Options in Water Markets: A Laboratory Investigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(1), pages 59-80, January.
    17. Watto, Muhammad, 2013. "Measuring Groundwater Irrigation Efficiency in Pakistan: A DEA Approach Using the Sub-vector and Slack-based Models," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152204, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    18. Siwan Anderson, 2011. "Caste as an Impediment to Trade," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 239-263, January.
    19. Jitu Tamuli & Mrinal Kanti Dutta, 2015. "What Determines Farmers’ Decision to Buy Irrigation Water in Water Abundant Regions? A Study of Groundwater Markets in Assam in Eastern India," Working Papers 2015.03, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.
    20. Muhammad Arif Watto & Amin W. Mugera, 2014. "Measuring Production and Irrigation Efficiencies of Rice Farms: Evidence from the Punjab Province, Pakistan," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 301-322, September.
    21. Zhang, Lijuan & Wang, Jinxia & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2008. "Development of Groundwater Markets in China: A Glimpse into Progress to Date," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 706-726, April.
    22. Jean-Paul Azam & Jean-Daniel Rinaud, 2000. "Encroached Entitlements: Corruption and Appropriation of Irrigation Water in Southern Pun jab Pakistan)," Development Working Papers 144, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    23. Mohamed Salah Matoussi & Neji Saidi, 2014. "Financial Constraints Risk Aversion and Sharecropping in Rainfed Agriculture: Application to North West Tunisia," Working Papers 880, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2014.
    24. Watto, Muhammad Arif & Mugera, Amin William, 2013. "Measuring Groundwater Irrigation Efficiency in Pakistan: A DEA Approach Using the Sub-vector and Slack-based Models," Working Papers 144943, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

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