Lunchtalk by dr. Stefano Farolfi

Title: Experimental economics for the analysis of socio-hydro systems: Between laboratory and field.

The use of experimental methods is more and more frequent in social sciences, and particularly in economics, to observe subjects’ behaviour in contexts such as common-pool resource (CPR) extraction or contribution to a public good (PG). Socio-hydro systems are complex systems where societies interact with ecosystems characterized by the presence of water and structured by water availability, such as wetlands, river basins, irrigation schemes, aquifers, etc. The joint research unit G eau is an interdisciplinary research team dealing with socio-hydro systems in Europe and in the South of the World.To analyze stakeholders’ behaviour in terms of water use and management, experimental economics is mobilized in the unit. Two applications are presented, one about the potential influence of environmental framing on subjects’ strategic choices, and one about the importance of institutional information to foster subjects’ contributions to a PG like an irrigation scheme. Finally, a potentially interdisciplinary protocol to test the causal relation between taking part in a participatory modelling process and subjects’ cooperative attitude is presented.

A discussion and an illustration of future research pathways conclude the presentation.

Stefano Farolfi is a senior water economist at the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). He holds a PhD (1995) from the University of Padova (Italy) and a professorship (HDR) in economics (2004) from the University of Montpellier I (France). He is currently Deputy Director of the research Unit G-Eau (Water management, actors and uses) and extraordinary professor at the Department of Agricultural Economics of the University of Pretoria. Between 2009 and 2013 he was visiting associate professor at the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo and scientific director of the International Center for Water Economics and Governance in Africa (IWEGA). Between 2002 and 2009 he was residential fellow and senior lecturer at the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy in Africa (CEEPA) of the University of Pretoria, where he coordinated a number of projects on water governance and management and taught courses of environmental economics and policy.

Dr Farolfi published numerous scientific articles on the economics of water, co-edited a 2006 Earthscan book on water governance and sustainable development and a 2016 Springer book on decentralization of water governance in Africa. His main research interests refer to the negotiation and coordination aspects of water management and allocation and to the experimental analysis of economic behaviour of water users.