Reflections on "Some Unsettled Problems of Irrigation"
- (pp. 49-63)
AbstractIt is instructive to read the article that Katharine Coman published in the first issue of the American Economic Review to gain insight into the problems of collective action related to irrigation in the American West. One gains further understanding of the problems Coman identifies by using a social-ecological system (Ostrom 2007, 2009) to organize the diverse variables identified by Coman. One gains a general lesson from this analysis that changing the formal governance structure of irrigation is not sufficient to ensure efficient investment in facilities or that farmers are able to acquire property and make a reasonable living. Building knowledge and trust are, however, essential for solving collective-action problems. (JEL B31, N51, Q15, Q25)
CitationOstrom, Elinor. 2011. "Reflections on "Some Unsettled Problems of Irrigation"." American Economic Review, 101 (1): 49-63. DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.1.49
- B31 History of Economic Thought: Individuals
- N51 Economic History: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment, and Extractive Industries: U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- Q15 Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
- Q25 Renewable Resources and Conservation: Water