1 Mar 2012

Two reviews of TEoA

Lisa Lee (PhD economist) reviews TEoA [PDF] for the Australian Journal of Agriculture and Resource Economics:*
The narrative of the anecdotes makes for fascinating reading and is appealing to any reader. The book has many strengths, particularly the ease and clarity in which economic concepts and theories are explained... Zetland presents many examples of poor policy decisions which induce water shortages that are followed up with even more inefficient policy fixes... The appeal of the book is its ambition to suggest practical approaches to address water scarcity, with the aim of removing political interference by improving market functionality and increasing competition
for services.
Claus Haslauer (PhD engineer) reviews TEoA at planetwater:
David Zetland’s book offers some useful thoughts of how thinking along some economic principles might lead to change. I do think that it is not along “big” economic concepts such as free trade or financial speculation. Zetland’s thoughts are more along the lines of local economics. I would even go as far as saying that his economic thoughts are as simple as thinking through scenarios of what could happen if I paid that amount or an extra amount on the good x at time t , and not a different amount on a different good. This approach gets interesting, when you’re trying to think about the effects on other goods or the same good at different times, at different locations.
All excited to find out if they are right? Order the book here!

* Although most of her comments are worthy of discussion, Lisa misquotes the book a few times: (1) All in auctions do not require forced sales (p 115 says "it allows any farmer to “buy back” his water at zero cost, neutralizing any objections of being forced to sell"). (2) I did talk about deforestation linked to biofuels (p. 126 says "Biofuels also need land for production. This can mean that rainforests are cut down (for palm oil or sugarcane plantations) or that other crops are displaced (as with corn fields).")

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