All-in-Auctions for Water

19 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2010 Last revised: 2 May 2014

See all articles by David Zetland

David Zetland

Leiden University - Leiden University College

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 11, 2012


This paper proposes a novel mechanism for reallocating temporary water flows or permanent water rights. The All-in-Auction (AiA) increases efficiency and social welfare by reallocating water without harming water rights holders. AiAs can be used to allocate variable or diminished flows among traditional or new uses. AiAs are appropriate for use within larger organizations that distribute water among members, e.g., irrigation districts or wholesale water agencies. Members would decide when and how to use AiAs, i.e., when transaction costs are high, environmental constraints are binding, or allocation to outsiders is desired. Experimental sessions show that an AiA reallocates more units with no less efficiency that traditional two-sided auctions.

Keywords: multi-unit auction, scarcity, water allocation, auction design, endowment effect

JEL Classification: D02, D44, Q25

Suggested Citation

Zetland, David, All-in-Auctions for Water (November 11, 2012). PERC Research Paper No. 12/15, Available at SSRN: or

David Zetland (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden University College ( email )

P.O. Box 13228
Den Haag, 2501EE

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