Governing the Commons?: Water and Power in Pakistan's Indus Basin

55 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2018 Last revised: 26 Feb 2018

See all articles by Hanan G. Jacoby

Hanan G. Jacoby

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Ghazala Mansuri

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: February 21, 2018

Abstract

Surface irrigation is a common pool resource characterized by asymmetric appropriation opportunities across upstream and downstream water users. Large canal systems are also predominantly managed by the state. This paper studies water allocation under an irrigation bureaucracy subject to corruption and rent-seeking. Data on the landholdings and political influence of nearly a quarter million irrigators in Pakistan's vast Indus Basin watershed allow the construction of a novel index of lobbying power. Consistent with a model of misgovernance, the decline in water availability and land values from channel head to tail is accentuated along canals having greater lobbying power at the head than at the tail.

Suggested Citation

Jacoby, Hanan G. and Mansuri, Ghazala, Governing the Commons?: Water and Power in Pakistan's Indus Basin (February 21, 2018). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8351, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3127960

Hanan G. Jacoby (Contact Author)

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/hjacoby

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Ghazala Mansuri

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/gmansuri

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