© 2015

Use of Economic Instruments in Water Policy

Insights from International Experience

  • Manuel Lago
  • Jaroslav Mysiak
  • Carlos M. Gómez
  • Gonzalo Delacámara
  • Alexandros Maziotis
  • Draws broad information from the review of some 25 specific EPIs, using a common assessment framework

  • Sheds light on key concepts and definitions and conveys the benefits, limitations, transaction costs and opportunities of using EPIs in water policy

  • Offers examples and case studies based on implemented EPIs within the EU and around the world


Part of the Global Issues in Water Policy book series (GLOB, volume 14)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Manuel Lago, Jaroslav Mysiak, Carlos M. Gómez, Gonzalo Delacámara, Alexandros Maziotis
    Pages 1-13
  3. Jaroslav Mysiak, Carlos M. Gómez
    Pages 15-20
  4. Jennifer Möller-Gulland, Manuel Lago, Katriona McGlade, Gerardo Anzaldua
    Pages 21-38
  5. Judit Rákosi, Gábor Ungvári, András Kis
    Pages 39-51
  6. Jennifer Möller-Gulland, Manuel Lago, Gerardo Anzaldua
    Pages 53-72
  7. Anders Branth Pedersen, Helle Ørsted Nielsen, Mikael Skou Andersen
    Pages 73-87
  8. Maggie Kossida, Anastasia Tekidou, Maria A. Mimikou
    Pages 89-103
  9. Jaroslav Mysiak, Fabio Farinosi, Lorenzo Carrera, Francesca Testella, Margaretha Breil, Antonio Massaruto
    Pages 105-119
  10. Michele Vollaro, Laura Sardonini, Meri Raggi, Davide Viaggi
    Pages 121-134
  11. Jaroslav Mysiak, Fabio Farinosi, Lorenzo Carrera, Francesca Testella, Margaretha Breil, Antonio Massaruto
    Pages 171-184
  12. Gonzalo Delacámara, Carlos M. Gómez
    Pages 201-207
  13. Mark S. Kieser, Jamie L. McCarthy
    Pages 209-222
  14. Andrew J. Yates
    Pages 223-234
  15. Tiho Ancev, M. A. Samad Azad
    Pages 235-248
  16. Gonzalo Delacámara, C. Dionisio Pérez-Blanco, Estefanía Ibáñez, Carlos M. Gómez
    Pages 249-263

About this book


This book assesses both the effectiveness and efficiency of implemented Economic Policy Instruments (EPIs) in order to achieve water policy goals, and identifies the preconditions under which they outperform alternative (e.g. regulatory) policy instruments and/or can complement them as part of complex policy mixes. The development of a consolidated assessment framework helps clarify (and where possible, quantify) the effectiveness of each EPI on the basis of different criteria. Outcome-oriented criteria describe how the EPIs perform. They include intended and unintended economic and environmental outcomes and the distribution of benefits and costs among the affected parties. These steps consider the application of cost effectiveness and cost benefits analysis, e.g. to assess ex-post performance of the EPI. Process criteria describe the institutional conditions (legislative, political, cultural, etc.) affecting the formation and operation of the EPI studied  (particularly relevant for assessing the possible impacts of using economic instruments), the transaction costs involved in implementing and enforcing the instruments, and the process of implementation.

Case studies from Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as from Australia, Chile, Israel and the USA are presented in this book. A wide variety of EPIs are also covered, including water-pricing schemes (tariffs, environmental taxes, environmental charges or fees, subsidies on products and practices), trading schemes (tradable permits for abstraction and pollution), and cooperation mechanisms.


Economic Policy Instruments Effectiveness and Efficiency Ex-post Evaluation Water Policy and Management Water Resources Economics

Editors and affiliations

  • Manuel Lago
    • 1
  • Jaroslav Mysiak
    • 2
  • Carlos M. Gómez
    • 3
  • Gonzalo Delacámara
    • 4
  • Alexandros Maziotis
    • 5
  1. 1.Ecologic Institut gemeinnützige GmbHBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)VeniceItaly
  3. 3.Departamento de EconomíaUniversidad de Alcalá and IMDEA-Water FoundationAlcalá de Henares (Madrid)Spain
  4. 4.Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies in Water (IMDEA-Water Foundation)Alcalá de Henares (Madrid)Spain
  5. 5.University of ManchesterManchesterUnited Kingdom

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