Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Review: Bad Blood

by David Zetland (originally published at One-handed economist) Review: Bad Blood I’d heard about this book — the story of the rise and fall of Elizabeth Homes and her company Theranos — long ago, but I only decided to read it when preparing readings for my course, The World of Entrepreneurs. I wanted to understand her case, […]

Institutions and markets

David Zetland at Aguanomics ponders the interplay of institutions and markets (reposted with authors permission). LocaL conditions in this context are those conditions in a watershed area. This is what I mean by institutions I wrote this for some partners on our water project, and I post it here because it seems to give a […]

Aquifers too deep to be tapped

David Zetland at Aguanomics points us to the way the US ‘too deep to use’ water aquifers for waste water from fracking, and the example of Mexico City drilling deep as a way to handle water shortages: This article raises an interesting point: the US EPA allows companies to pollute aquifers that it assumes are […]

Negative externality or just raising money

Lifted from one of David Zetland’s Aguanomics musings on how our conversations mix things up: Gasoline taxes are often justified as the response to a “negative externality” of pollution from cars, but the money from those taxes rarely (never?) goes to people who suffer from pollution. So is it really a tax on an externality […]

Water, human rights and government failure

by David Zetland Water, human rights and government failure I wrote a paper on a human right to water several years ago,* in which I made the point (using data!) that laws supporting a human right to water are unlikely to work in countries where the rule of law is weak.** But what about places […]

The Land Grabbers — the review

by David Zetland from Aguanomics The Land Grabbers — the review Fred Pearce sent me a review copy of his new book, The Land Grabbers: The New Fight over Who Owns the Earth, which I enjoyed very much for its detailed description of the pros and cons resulting from foreigners investing in land in developing countries. […]

Hurricane Sandy and choices for the future

by David Zetland   David Zetland is a senior water economist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and maintains a blog on water issues at Aguanomics Hurricane Sandy and choices for the future I live in the Netherlands, where living below sea level for many years has driven the Dutch to take flooding and storm surges […]

Will San Diego make the desalination mistake?

(Dan here…a recent talk I attended on water in Burkina Faso reminded me to look at another important issue even for the US) by David Zetland    David Zetland is a senior water economist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and maintains a blog on water issues at Aguanomics. Will San Diego make the desalination mistake? […]