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Journal Publications

Paper Water, Wet Water, and the Recognition of Indigenous Property Rights, with Leslie Sanchez and Bryan Leonard. In press at Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

Center for Indian Country Development Working Paper No. 2022-01

Summary: Study: Tribal Water Rights Underutilized in U.S. West

Coverage: NC State Audio Abstract (podcast), The Hill, High Country News

Teaching Price Elasticity of Demand and Marginal Analysis using Household Water Pricing, with Sara Sutherland and Anastasia Hassett. In press at Applied Economics Teaching Resources.

Property Rights to Land and Agricultural Organization: An Argentina-United States Comparison. 2022.

with Martin Fiszbein and Gary Libecap. The Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 65(S1), pp.1-33.

NBER Working Paper No. 27750

The Impact of Property Rights to Fish on Remote Communities in Alaska. 2022.

with Sara A. Sutherland. Land Economics, vol. 98(2), pp. 239-253.

CEnREP Working Paper No. 19-018

Water Storage and Agricultural Resilience to Drought: Historical Evidence of the Capacity and Institutional Limits in the United States. 2021.

with Steven M. Smith. Environmental Research Letters, vol. 16, 124020.

Summary: Irrigation, Water Management Play Key Roles in Smoothing Drought Impacts

The Economics of Groundwater Governance Institutions Across the Globe. 2021.

with Todd Guilfoos. Applied Economics Perspectives and Policy, vol. 43(4), pp. 1571-1594.

AEPP 2022 Best Article Award

CEnREP Working Paper No. 20-001

Summary: Around the Globe, Groundwater Requires Local Governance

The Economics of Indigenous Water Claim Settlements in the American West. 2020.

with Leslie Sanchez and Bryan Leonard. Environmental Research Letters, vol. 15, 094027.

Summary: In the Water-Scarce American West, Tribal Water Rights Play an Important Role

Predator-Prey Dynamics in General Equilibrium and the Role of Trade. 2020.

with Dong-Hun Go and Reza Oladi. Resource and Energy Economics, vol. 61, 101174.

Irrigation Investment on an American Indian Reservation. 2020.

with Muyang Ge and Sherzod Akhundjanov. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 102(4), pp.1083-1104.

AAEA 2021 Quality of Research Discovery, Honorable Mention

AARES 2022 Quality of Research Discovery Award – Early/Mid-Career Researchers

CEnREP Working Paper No. 18-017

Summary: Investment and Irrigation on an American Indian Reservation

The Cost of Addressing Saline Lake Decline and the Potential for Water Conservation Markets. 2019.

with Sarah Null. Science of the Total Environment, vol. 651 Part 1, 19, pp. 435-442.

Link to dataset in HydroShare

Summary: Innovative markets could protect the world’s endangered saline lakes on the cheap

The Role of Irrigation in the Development of Agriculture in the United States. 2018.

with Steven Smith. Journal of Economic History, vol. 78 no. 4, pp. 1-39.

Summary: Water access key driver of long-term agricultural productivity in western U.S.

An Illiquid Market in the Desert: Estimating the Cost of Water Trade Restrictions in Northern Chile. 2018.

with Gary Libecap, Oscar Cristi, and Gonzalo Edwards. Environment and Development Economics, vol. 23 no. 6, pp. 615-634.

NBER Working Paper No. 21869

Summary: The cost of water regulation in northern Chile

How Transaction Costs Obstruct Collective Action: Evidence from California's Groundwater. 2018.

with Andrew Ayres and Gary Libecap. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, vol. 91, pp. 46-65.

NBER Working Paper No. 23382

Summary: Collective management of shared water resource is easier said than done

Economic Insight from Utah’s Water Efficiency Supply Curve. 2017.

with Ryan Bosworth, Amber Burrows*, Patrick Adams*, Vivane Baji*, Shelly Jones*, and Coleman Gerdes*. Water, 9(3): 214; 

*USU undergraduate researchers

Link to spreadsheet with data and analysis

What Lies Beneath? Aquifer Heterogeneity and the Economics of Groundwater Management. 2016.

Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3 no. 2, pp. 453-91.

Link to dataset and code in HydroShare

Comparative Assessment of Water Markets: Insights from the Murray-Darling Basin of Australia and the Western USA. 2012.

with Quentin Grafton, Gary Libecap, Bob O'Brien, and Clay Landry. Water Policy, 14(2):175-93.

Working Papers and Papers Under Review

Creating American Farmland: Institutional Evolution and the Development of Agricultural Drainage, with Wally Thurman (revisions requested at Journal of Economic History).

NBER Working Paper No. 30081

Summary: The Secret Behind the U. S. Corn Belt

Water, Dust, and Environmental Justice: The Case of Agricultural Water Diversions, with Ryan Abman and Danae Hernandez-Cortes (revisions requested at American Journal of Agricultural Economics).

The Capitalization of Incomplete Property Rights to the Groundwater Commons with Nathan Hendricks and Gabe Sampson (under review).

Left in the Dust: Pecuniary and Environmental Externalities in Water Markets, with Sherzod Akhundjanov, Muyang Ge, and Reza Oladi (under review).

The Effect of Government Ownership on Oil and Gas Drilling and Production with Trevor O'Grady and David Jenkins (under review).

CEnREP Working Paper No. 19-017

Dynamic Pricing Framework for Water Demand Management Using Advanced Metering Infrastructure Data with Faisal M. Alghamdi and Emily Z. Berglund (revisions requested at Water Resources Research).

Manure Nutrient Cycling in U.S. Animal Agriculture Basins – A North Carolina Case Study with Luis Huezo, Daniela Jones, and Mahmoud Sharara (revisions requested at Journal of Environmental Quality).

The Shadow of Hetch Hetchy: The National Park Service and the Bureaucracy of Preservation, with Sara Sutherland (manuscript In preparation).

The Role of Markets and Technology in Power Plants’ Drought Responses with Harrison Fell, Jordan Kern, and Andrew Hutchens (manuscript in preparation).

Book Chapters

The Economics of Climatic Adaptation: Agricultural Drainage in the United States, with Wally Thurman. 2023. G. Libecap and A. Dinar Eds. American Agriculture, Water Resources, and Climate Change, University of Chicago Press and NBER.

The Colonial Origins of Diverse Property-Rights to Land and the Long-Term Economic Implications in North and South America, with Martin Fiszbein and Gary Libecap. 2023. Ernst Nordtveit ed. The Changing Role of Property Law; Rights, Values, and Concepts. Edward Elgar, Northampton, MA, pp. 54-80.


Contracting and the Commons: Linking the Insight of Elinor Ostrom and Gary Libecap. 2020.

with Bryan Leonard. The Environmental Optimism of Elinor Ostrom. Center for Growth and Opportunity, pp.149-172. (Peer-reviewed)

Chapter pdf available here.

Water Institutions and the Law of One Price. 2015.

with Gary Libecap. R. Halvorsen and D.F. Layton eds. Handbook on the Economics of Natural Resources. Edward Elgar, Northampton, MA, pp. 442-473.

Link to author Preprint

Other Publications


Edwards, E.C., Sutherland, S.A., Beck, S., and Wilson, E. 2023. Submerged Aquatic Vegetation in the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuary: Causes of Decline and Economic Importance NC State Extension Publication AG-949.

Edwards, E.C. and Sutherland, S.A. 2021. The Contribution of Wild-Caught Seafood to NC's Economy NC State Economist. Spring 2021.


Branan, A. Edwards, E.C., Huchens, A., and Sutherland, S.A. 2019. North Carolinians Benefit from Water Pollution Credit Trading NC State Economist. Fall 2019.


Edwards, E.C., Nehra, A. 2020 (forthcoming). Importance of Freshwater for Irrigation. M. Goldstein and D. DellaSala Eds. Encyclopedia of the World’s Biomes 1st Edition.


Edwards, E.C., Sutherland, S.A., and Von Haefen, R.H. 2019. Should I Stay or Should I Go? Coal Ash in North Carolina NC State Economist. Winter 2019.


Edwards, E.C. and Sutherland, S.A. 2019. A Guide to Municipal Water Conservation Pricing in Utah. USU Extension Factsheet. 2019. (Peer-reviewed)

Ayres, A. and Edwards, E.C. 2018. Groundwater depletion, contracting costs, and the determinants of successful collective action. UNESCO Global Water Forum.

Edwards, E.C. and Sutherland, S.A. 2018. Yesterday’s Nobel Prize and North Carolina Agriculture. NC State Agricultural and Resource Economics News, October 9, 2018.

Edwards, E.C., Sutherland, S.A., and Von Haefen, R.H.  2018. Coal Ash After Hurricane Florence. NC State Agricultural and Resource Economics News, October 1, 2018.

Edwards, E.C., Sutherland, S.A. 2017. Lobbying in Fathali M. Moghaddam ed. SAGE Encyclopedia of Political Behavior, SAGE Publications, Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 448-451.

Book Review: Chasing Water: A Guide for Moving From Scarcity to Sustainability. 2016. Water Economics and Policy, vol. 2 no. 2.

Link to author preprint

Summary: An illiquid market in the desert. 2016. UNESCO Global Water Forum.

Summary: What lies beneath? Aquifer heterogeneity and the economics of collective action. 2014. UNESCO Global Water Forum.

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