Conventional economic analysis of property rights in natural resources is too narrow and restrictive to allow for effective comparisons between alternative institutional structures. In this book, a conceptual framework is developed for the analysis of these structures with illustrative application to the allocation of water resources.
Ray Challen introduces and develops a model for the analysis of the problems involved in institutional choice that takes into account constraints in institutional change imposed by history and the value of maintaining options in an uncertain future. The emphasis of institutional analysis shifts from assessing the benefits of particular property rights regimes in isolation to considering the distribution of property rights between levels of governments, communities and individuals in an institutional hierarchy. Conceptual developments in institutional theory are illustrated by using a case study of institutional change in the regulation of water use in irrigated agriculture.
Ray Challen, Associate Director, The Allen Consulting Group, Perth, Australia
Contents: Preface and Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. Institutions and Use of Natural Resources 3. Institutions of Water Use for Irrigation in the Murray-Darling Basin 4. Static Transaction Costs in Allocation of Water Resources 5. Transaction Costs and Institutional Change 6. Dynamic Transaction Costs and Option Values in Institutional Change 7. Policy Analysis for Institutional Change 8. Conclusions References Index