Working Papers

National Bureau of Economic Research




Hamilton Project & Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Shopping for Water: How the Market Can Mitigate Water Shortages in the American West


Interest Groups, Information Manipulation in the Media, and Public Policy: The Case of the Landless Peasants Movement in Brazil2008 with Lee Alston and Bernardo Mueller

Climate Variability and Water Infrastructure: Historical Patterns on Crop Production and Flood Control with Zeynep Hansen and Scott Lowe

Selected Publications

Water Market Design, Transaction Costs, and the Political Economy of Property Rights to Natural Resources Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 2017, with Bryan Leonard and Christopher Costello

Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations Journal of Economic Literature 2014

Large Scale Institutional Changes: Land Demarcation within the British Empire Journal of Law and Economics 2012, with Trevor O'Grady and Dean Lueck

Efficiency Advantages of Grandfathering in Rights-Based Fisheries Management, 2011, Annual Review of Environment and Resource Economics with Terry Anderson and Ragnar Arnason

A Comparative Assessment of Water Markets: Insights from the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia and the Western US R. Quentin Grafton, Gary D. Libecap ,Eric C. Edwards, R.J. (Bob) O'Brien, Clay Landry, Water Policy, 2011

Institutional Path Dependence in Climate Adaptation: Coman's "Some Unsettled Problems of Irrigation", February 2011, American Economic Review

An Integrated Assessment of Water Markets: A Cross-Country Comparison, with Grafton, R.Q.; McGlennon, S.; Landry, C.; O'Brien, B., Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 2011, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 219-239

The Demarcation of Land and the Role of Coordinating Institutions with Dean Lueck, June 2011, Journal of Political Economy

The Economic Institutions of Water, National Bureau of Economic Research Reporter, 2011

Water Rights and Markets in the U.S. Semi-Arid West: Efficiency and Equity Issues, The Evolution of Property Rights Related to Land and Natural Resources, Property in Land and Other Resources, Edited by Daniel H. Cole & Elinor Ostrom, November 2011

Water Woes: Using Markets to Quench the Thirst of the American West Milken Institute Quarterly, October 2010, 58-68

Property Rights and The Public Trust Doctrine in Environmental Protection and Natural Resource Conservation  with Jedidiah Brewer, 2009 Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp.1-17

Law and the New Institutional Economics: Water Markets and Legal Change in California, 1987-2005, 2008 Washington University Journal of Law and Policy 26: 186-214 with Jedidiah Brewer, Michael Fleishman, Robert Glennon, and Alan Ker

Open-Access Losses and Delay in the Assignment of Property Rights 2008 Arizona Law Review 50 (2): 379-408

Positioning Fisheries in a Changing World, 2008 Marine Policy 32 (4) 630-34 with R. Quentin Grafton, RayHillborn, Lori Ridgeway, Dale Squires, Meryl Williams, Serge Garcia, Theodore Groves, James Joseph, KieranKelliher, Tom Kompas, Gary D. Libecap, Carl Gustaf Lundin, Mitsutaku Makino, Thorolfur Matthiasson, Richard McLouglin, Anna Parma, Gustavo San Martin, Ben Satia, Carl-Christian Schmidt, Mariee Tait, LinXiu Zhang

Chinatown Revisited: Owens Valley and Los Angeles - Bargaining Costs and Fairness Perceptions of the First Major Water Rights Exchange 2008 Journal of Law Economics and Organization 24(2)

Water Markets in the West: Prices, Trading and Contractual Forms, 2008 Economic Inquiry 46(2): 91-112 with Jedidiah Brewer, Robert Glennon, and Alan Ker

Assigning Property Rights in the Common Pool. Implications of the Prevalence of First-Possession Rules for ITQs in Fisheries 2007 Marine Resource Economics, 22(1): 407-24

Transferring Water in the American West: 1987-2005, 2007 Michigan Journal of Law Reform 40(4): 1021-53 with Jedidiah Brewer, Robert Glennon, and Alan Ker

The Assignment of Property Rights on the Western Frontier: Lessons for Contemporary Environmental and Resource Policy,  2007 Journal of Economic History 67(2): 257-91

Small Farms, Externalities, and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, 2004 Journal of Political Economy 112(3): 665-94 with Zeynep Hansen

Regulatory Remedies to the Common Pool: The Limits to Oil Field Unitization, 2001 Energy Journal 22(1): 1-26 with James Smith

The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier, 1996 Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 12 (1): 25-60 with Lee Alston and Robert Schneider

The Self-Enforcing Provisions of Oil and Gas Unit Operating Agreements: Theory and Evidence, 1999 Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 15(2): 526-48 with James Smith

Oil Field Unitization:  Contractual Failure in the Presence of Imperfect Information, 1985 American Economic Review 75(3): 368-85 with S. N. Wiggins

The Influence of Private Contractual Failure on Regulation:  The Case of Oil Field Unitization, 1985 Journal of Political Economy 93(4): 690-714 with S.N. Wiggins

Contractual Responses to the Common Pool:  Prorationing of Crude Oil Production, 1984 American Economic Review 74(1): 87-97 with S.N. Wiggins

Contracting Problems and Regulation:  The Case of the Fishery, 1982 American Economic Review 72(5): 1005-22 with R. N. Johnson