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Precipitating Institutional Change: Drought Sinks In

James Nachbaur

American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship Program

May 9, 2014

How important are windows of opportunity for institutional change? This paper focuses on groundwater-related regulation and assistance in Texas since 1949. Communities adopted a common framework to form local government organizations. These groundwater conservation districts modified the prevailing open-access regime and helped water users coordinate. Droughts focus attention on water-related issues and provided excellent opportunities for change: district formation is found to have been 4.8 times more likely immediately following droughts than following non-drought years. Other factors also supported collective action for district creation: rising groundwater pumping costs, more variable precipitation, and lower farm size inequality.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: Windows of opportunity, Drought, Collective action, Common-pool resource management, Water, Texas groundwater conservation districts, Institutional change, Inequality, Buffer value of groundwater, Survival time analysis, Panel data

JEL Classification: Q28, Q25, Q38, H11, D02, P48

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Date posted: May 5, 2008 ; Last revised: May 10, 2014

Suggested Citation

Nachbaur, James, Precipitating Institutional Change: Drought Sinks In (May 9, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1128327 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1128327

Contact Information

James W Nachbaur (Contact Author)
American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship Program ( email )
Washington, DC 20005
United States
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