The Institutional Economics of Water
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The Institutional Economics of Water

A Cross-Country Analysis of Institutions and Performance

R. Maria Saleth and Ariel Dinar

This outstanding new book provides the most detailed and comprehensive evaluation of water reform and water sector performance from the perspectives of institutional economics and political economy.
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Chapter 6: Empirical Context: Description and Justification

R. Maria Saleth and Ariel Dinar

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6. Empirical context: description and justification Despite their macro focus and partial coverage of institutional and exogenous aspects, the models presented in the previous chapter are able to capture some of the most important layers of linkages inherent in the process of institution–performance interaction within the water sector. When these models are empirically estimated, some of the critical linkages that we have shown analytically can be evaluated quantitatively as well. Such a quantitative analysis can provide a basis for formal statistical analysis of the relative role, direction, and significance of the influences that various institutional aspects and exogenous factors have on the performance of both water institution and water sector. However, the validity and credibility of such a statistical analysis are predicated on the relevance and suitability of the empirical context, and its underlying sample selection procedure and data generation process. The main purpose of this chapter is, therefore, to describe and justify the empirical context selected for a quantitative analysis of institutions and performance. STAKEHOLDERS’ PERCEPTION AS AN EMPIRICAL BASIS All the three models described in the previous chapter can be quantitatively addressed by using either time-series data for a country or region or crosssection data for a set of countries or regions, or by combining both the timeseries and cross-section data within a panel framework. Unfortunately, obtaining enough actually observed and internationally comparable timeseries or cross-section data for an empirical estimation of our models, though not impossible, is extremely costly in terms of both time and resources....

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