Precipitating Institutional Change: Drought Sinks In

36 Pages Posted: 5 May 2008 Last revised: 10 May 2014

James Nachbaur

American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship Program

Date Written: May 9, 2014

Abstract

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.

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

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

James W Nachbaur (Contact Author)

American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship Program ( email )

Washington, DC 20005
United States

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