Scarperation: An Empirical Inquiry into the Role of Scarcity in Fostering Cooperation Between International River Riparians

48 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Shlomi Dinar

Shlomi Dinar

Johns Hopkins University

Ariel Dinar

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department

Pradeep Kurukulasuriya

United Nations Development Programme; Yale University - School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Date Written: July 1, 2007

Abstract

The environment and security literature has argued that freshwater scarcity often leads to inter-state conflict, and possibly acute violence. The contention, however, ignores the long history of hydro-political cooperation exemplified by hundreds of documented agreements. Building on a theory that considers the relationship between scarcity and hydro-political cooperation, this paper empirically investigates why treaties are negotiated for some rivers and between some riparians, and not others. The paper suggests that long-term water scarcity has a significant influence on levels of cooperation. Additional variables considered include trade, level of governance among the riparian states, and the geography of the river. Findings confirm that cooperation and scarcity embody a concave (inverted U curve) relationship. Governance has a positive impact on cooperation. In addition, riparians may either arrange the use of their scarce water resources via a treaty or trade (and indirectly exchange [virtual]water). Scarcity, governance, and trade were found to be most salient in explaining levels of cooperation while geography is significant in some of the estimates.

Keywords: Water and Industry, Water Supply and Sanitation Governance and Institutions, Environmental Economics & Policies, Town Water Supply and Sanitation, Water Conservation

Suggested Citation

Dinar, Shlomi and Dinar, Ariel and Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep, Scarperation: An Empirical Inquiry into the Role of Scarcity in Fostering Cooperation Between International River Riparians (July 1, 2007). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4294. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1004408

Shlomi Dinar (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University ( email )

Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

Ariel Dinar

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-0434 (Phone)

Pradeep Kurukulasuriya

United Nations Development Programme ( email )

New York, NY 10017
United States
2129066843 (Phone)

Yale University - School of Forestry and Environmental Studies ( email )

New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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