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An Agent-based Model Based on Field Experiments

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Janssen, Marco A.
Date: 2012
Agency: Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Series: CSID Working Paper Series, no. CSID-2012-008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8612
Sector: Theory
Water Resource & Irrigation
Subject(s): irrigation
collective action
Abstract: "This chapter describes the empirical calibration of a theoretical model based on data from field experiments. Field experiments on irrigation dilemmas were performed to understand how resource users overcome asymmetric collective action problems. The fundamental problem facing irrigation systems is how to solve two related collective action problems: 1) the provision of the physical and ecological infrastructure necessary to utilize the resource (water), and 2) the irrigation dilemma where the relative positions of 'head-enders' and 'tail-enders' generate a sequential access to the resource itself (water). If the actors behave as rational, self-interested agents, it is difficult to understand how irrigation infrastructure could ever be constructed and maintained by the farmers who utilize the system as opposed to a government irrigation bureaucracy. Wittfogel (1957) argued that a centralized control was indispensable for the functioning of larger irrigation systems and hypothesized that some state-level societies have emerged as a necessary side-effect of solving problems associated with the use of large-scale irrigation."

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