NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Pinar Keskin

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Working Papers and Chapters

September 2012Does Agriculture Generate Local Economic Spillovers? Short-run and Long-run Evidence from the Ogallala Aquifer
with Richard Hornbeck: w18416
Agricultural development may support broader economic development, though agricultural expansion may also crowd-out local non-agricultural activity. On the United States Plains, areas over the Ogallala aquifer experienced windfall agricultural gains when post-WWII technologies increased farmers' access to groundwater. Comparing counties over the Ogallala with nearby similar counties, local non-agricultural sectors experienced only short-run benefits. Despite substantial persistent agricultural gains, there was no long-run expansion of local non-agricultural sectors and there are some indications of crowd-out. With the benefit of long-run historical perspective, supporting local agricultural production does not appear to generate local economic spillovers that might justify its distorti...
November 2011The Evolving Impact of the Ogallala Aquifer: Agricultural Adaptation to Groundwater and Climate
with Richard Hornbeck: w17625
Agriculture on the American Great Plains has been constrained by historical water scarcity. After World War II, technological improvements made groundwater from the Ogallala aquifer available for irrigation. Comparing counties over the Ogallala with nearby similar counties, groundwater access increased irrigation intensity and initially reduced the impact of droughts. Over time, land-use adjusted toward water-intensive crops and drought-sensitivity increased; conversely, farmers in water-scarce counties maintained drought-resistant practices that fully mitigated higher drought-sensitivity. Land values capitalized the Ogallala's value at $26 billion in 1974; as extraction remained high and water levels declined, the Ogallala's value fell to $9 billion in 2002.

Published: "The Historically Evolving Impact of the Ogallala Aquifer: Agricultural Adaptation to Groundwater and Drought," with Pinar Keskin, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 6(1)190-219 (January 2014).

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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