The economic conception of water

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

192 Scopus citations


This chapter explains the economic conception of water - how economists think about water. It consists of two main sections. First, it reviews the economic concept of value, explains how it is measured, and discusses how this has been applied to water in various ways. Then it considers the debate regarding whether or not water can, or should, be treated as an economic commodity, and discusses the ways in which water is the same as, or different than, other commodities from an economic point of view. While there are some distinctive emotive and symbolic features of water, there are also some distinctive economic features that make the demand and supply of water different and more complex than that of most other goods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWater Crisis
Subtitle of host publicationMyth or Reality Marcelino Botin Water Forum 2004
PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)0415364388, 9780415364386
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event1st Santander Workshop on Water Crisis: Myth or Reality - Santander, Spain
Duration: Jun 14 2004Jun 16 2004

Publication series

NameWater Crisis: Myth or Reality Marcelino Botin Water Forum 2004


Other1st Santander Workshop on Water Crisis: Myth or Reality


  • Allocation
  • Economics
  • Pricing
  • Value of water
  • Water cost
  • Water demand
  • Water supply

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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