Institutional Design and Adaptation in Regional-Scale Common-Pool Resource Institutions: Securing Access to High-Quality Drinking Water in Boston, New York, Portland, and San Francisco
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation develops and assesses hypotheses regarding the design and adaptation of institutions for maintaining the quality of a shared natural resource at regional scales. The analysis is centered on arrangements created by governmental actors for deciding how to jointly govern a resource producing high-quality drinking water. The cases studied are Boston (Massachusetts), New York City (New York), Portland (Oregon), and San Francisco (California). Drinking water in each of these cities is provided unfiltered, and it is sourced from lands located in other jurisdictions. To maintain water quality, both providers and landowners in the watersheds have reached agreements defining how to jointly govern the resource. This dissertation studies the design of these arrangements. Studying these dynamics, particularly in a federal regime, highlights the limits that governmental actors face in making decisions with other governments at different levels. The dissertation contains three empirical papers addressing aspects of design in these arrangements. The empirical chapters are structured as separate papers that follow a common theme. Throughout the dissertation, insights from various research traditions are brought in to complement the analysis of institutional design. The studies in this dissertation combine arguments from the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework, Common-Pool Resource Theory, Transaction Cost Economics, social network analysis, Adaptive Governance, and theories of information processing stemming from the Punctuated Equilibrium literature in public policy.
Degree ProgramGraduate College