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| Rent seeking in irrigated agriculture
| Institutional problem areas in operation and maintenance
| Renger, J., Wolff, B.
Editor or Organisation
| irrigated agriculture, irrigation management, rent seeking, corruption, service provision
| developing countries
Table of Contents
| 1. Introduction: A new view of irrigation management
2. Rent seeking: striving for profit from transfers
3. Rent seeking in irrigated agriculure
4. The impact of rent-seeking on irrigated agriculture
5. Institutional constraints on rent seeking in irrigated agriculture
| The goal of this paper is to raise awareness of the problem of rent seeking and show ways for irrigated agriculture to meet its development policy objectives better. The paper is an attempt to examine irrigated agriculture from the standpoint of the new institutional economics. The core idea of this (still relatively young) theory is to interpret and explain the behaviour of individuals and groups in terms of political and administrative systems. This does not mean that the personal characteristics of the actors would be irrelevant. However, if we take an “average” actor, there are clear relationships between the structures in the environment within which they act and their behaviour. By configuring such structures, it is possible to direct the behaviour of the people operating within them. The structures and rules of the system not only determine people’s scope for action but also the relative individual benefit of the various alternative actions for the actor concerned. To introduce this discussion, the paper first gives a general overview of the phenomenon of rent seeking. The focus here is on the distinct functional logic of social, political and economic systems which lead to rent seeking. With this foundation the paper then looks for examples of rent seeking in irrigated agriculture in developing countries. The emphasis here is on the question which individual goals the various actors are pursuing through (!) rather than in irrigated agriculture.
| Enabling Environment