publication . Report . Preprint . 2004

Transaction Costs: Valuation Disputes, Bi-Lateral Monopoly Bargaining and Third-Party Effects in Water Rights Exchanges. The Owens Valley Transfer to Los Angeles

Gary D. Libecap;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Sep 2004
  • Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Between 1905 and 1934 over 869 farmers in Owens Valley, California sold their land and associated water rights to Los Angeles, 250 miles to the southwest. This agriculture-to-urban water transfer increased Los Angeles' water supply by over 4 times, making the subsequent dramatic growth of the semi-arid city possible, generating large economic returns. The exchange took water from a marginal agricultural area and transferred it via the Los Angeles Aqueduct. No other sources of water became available for the city until 1941 with the arrival of water from Hoover Dam via the California Aqueduct. The Owens Valley transfer was the first and last, large-scale voluntary...
Persistent Identifiers
free text keywords: Geography, Aqueduct, Agriculture, business.industry, business, Water supply, Third party, Valuation (finance), Monopoly, Gains from trade, Transaction cost, Economy, jel:N5, jel:Q2
Related Organizations

Anderson, Terry L., & Pamela Snyder. Water Markets: Priming the Invisible Pump. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 1997.

Barnard, Charles and John Jones, Farm Real Estate Values in the United States By Counties, 1850-1982, Washington DC: USDA, ERS, Government Printing Office, 1987.

Baugh, Ruth E., “Land Use Changes in the Bishop Area of Owens Valley,” Economic Geography 13 (1), 17-34, January 1937.

Burt, Ronald S. “A Note on Social Capital and Network Content,” Social Networks, 19: 355-73, 1997.

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