Yu ChenFollow

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Mahadev Bhat

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Pallab Mozumder

Third Advisor's Name

Jesse Bull

Fourth Advisor's Name

Assefa Melesse


OLG, Freshwater, Parental Altruism, Interconnected Game, Aggregated Isolated Game, Virtual Water, International Trade, Social Welfare, Externality

Date of Defense



This dissertation consists of three essays on different aspects of water management. The first essay focuses on the sustainability of freshwater use by introducing the notion that altruistic parents do bequeath economic assets for their offspring. Constructing a two-period, over-lapping generational model, an optimal ratio of consumption and pollution for old and young generations in each period is determined. Optimal levels of water consumption and pollution change according to different parameters, such as, altruistic degree, natural recharge rate, and population growth. The second essay concerns water sharing between countries in the case of trans-boundary river basins. The paper recognizes that side payments fail to forge water-sharing agreement among the international community and that downstream countries have weak bargaining power. An interconnected game approach is developed by linking the water allocation issue with other non-water issues such as trade or border security problems, creating symmetry between countries in bargaining power. An interconnected game forces two countries to at least partially cooperate under some circumstances. The third essay introduces the concept of virtual water (VW) into a traditional international trade model in order to estimate water savings for a water scarce country. A two country, two products and two factors trade model is developed, which includes not only consumers and producer’s surplus, but also environmental externality of water use. The model shows that VW trade saves water and increases global and local welfare. This study should help policy makers to design appropriate subsidy or tax policy to promote water savings especially in water scarce countries.





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