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Water management reform and the choice of contractual form in China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 April 2008

QIUQIONG HUANG
Affiliation:
Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, Classroom Office Building 249e, 1994 Buford Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55108. Tel: (612) 624-1692. Fax: (612) 625-6245. Email: qhuang@umn.edu
SCOTT ROZELLE
Affiliation:
Shorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center, Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University
SIWA MSANGI
Affiliation:
Environment and Production Technology Division, International Food Policy Research Institute
JINXIA WANG
Affiliation:
Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences
JIKUN HUANG
Affiliation:
Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Abstract

This paper explains the puzzling fact that in organizing the management of surface water, village leaders have provided incentives to canal managers in some areas, but not in all. Our study indicates that the optimal contractual choice depends on the relative abilities of the leader and the manager, the design of the cultivated land, the characteristics of the canal system and the opportunity costs of the leader and the pool of managerial candidates. The unifying mechanism is the relative change in the ability of the leader and manager to perform the unmarketable activities that are needed to provide irrigation services.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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