Nick  Hagerty (9/12/18)

Nick  Hagerty

University of California, Berkeley – Ciriacy-Wantrup Post-Doc

“Liquid Constrained: Estimating the Potential Gains from Water Markets”

Abstract: I propose a framework to estimate demand and analyze welfare in water markets using transactions data. To infer preferences from observed choices in an existing market, this framework overcomes two key empirical challenges. First, it can recover marginal valuations in the presence of unobserved transaction costs, which lead observed prices to be distributed less widely than true marginal valuations. Second, it can correctly estimate price elasticities in settings where total quantity is fixed and agents may choose to either buy or sell, including water markets and other cap-and-trade systems. I apply this framework to estimate the gains available from an efficient statewide surface water market in California, where conveyance infrastructure is well-developed yet transaction volume remains low. Full Paper