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Does Water Scarcity Lead to Overuse? Evidence from Field Experiments

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Blanco, Esther; López, Maria Claudia; Villamayor Tomás, Sergio
Conference: Shared Resources in a Rapidly Changing World, European Regional Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Agricultural University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Conf. Date: September 14-17
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7684
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: South America
Subject(s): common pool resources
water management
field work
Abstract: "The increased variability in rainfall patterns due to external shocks such as climate change can lead to different adaptive actions by socio-economic agents. This paper presents the results from an economic field experiment aiming to explore the responses of rural water users in Colombia to exogenous changes in the availability of water resources. Subjects participated in a within-subjects common pool resources experiment with different levels of the resource along the game. In the first stage of the experiment all subjects played in a baseline with a high level of the resource. In the second and third stage the experimentalists exogenously changed the resource available from the baseline treatment. Our results suggest that users extract more when the level of the resource is low enough for them to fully deplete it."

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