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Simulating Institutional Dynamics in the Context of Water in Outback Australia

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Smajgl, Alexander; Heckbert, Scott
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/92
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): IASC
water resources
agent-based computational economics
Abstract: "Water availability in outback Australia is event driven and flips often from a situation of scarcity to a temporary abundance. Informal institutions are often able to translate such dynamics in sustainable user rules. Policy interventions are mainly focused on changing access rules to avoid over use or inefficiencies. Ripple effects of such formal institutional changes can lead to unexpected unsustainable outcomes; outcomes that are often captured in the 'story' behind informal arrangements. This paper analyses one case study on water access in outback Australia and translates field work results into an agent based model. In order to project ripple effects of institutional changes interventions in water access is assumed in an applied context. Core focus of the modelling exercise is the treatment of newcomers on a newly created trading scheme for water access rights. Simulations compare different options and how perceived risk of existing irrigators might change."

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