Water Economics

The next set of lessons in MRUniversity’s development economics course is on water economics. Water is one of the most important issues in developing countries for many reasons, including agriculture, health, and wealth. Every year, millions of people die because of lack of access to clean and safe water. It is estimated that over 1 billion people in the world don’t have adequate access to such an essential resource, and the poor pay the biggest price.

In this section, we cover:

  • The effects water monopolies can have on consumers
  • The pros and cons of water privatization in developing nations, including major examples from Buenos Aires, Bolivia, Saudi Arabia and Yemen
  • Why it’s so hard to regulate private water companies effectively
  • What can happen to the price of water when it is interfered with through subsidies and price controls
  • The tragedy of the commons in water economics
  • How water ethics influences the actual supply of water
  • And finally, what happens when countries engage in trading water commodities


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