On March 27, 2017, TGU Center for Positive/Empirical Analyses of Political Economy at Waseda University hosted a seminar “Inflow Independence in Transboundary River Problems.” held by Professor Rene van den Brink at VU Amsterdam. Professor van den Brink is an expert of a research field called cooperative game theory, and publishes many research papers in international journals.
Cooperative game theory, a branch of economics, studies desirable distribution rules of limited resources. In the seminar, Professor van den Brink applied cooperative game theory to the problem of river water sharing.
Water resources are essential for our lives, and they are mainly come from rivers. As many rivers flow through more than one country, they have induced conflicts concerning water distribution among countries. One of the most controversial issues in the distribution problem is to determine which country owns what part of a river (known as the property rights problem). Professor van den Brink introduced some interpretations of property rights that are advocated in international disputes, and analyzed distribution rules that are compatible with them.
Many professors and graduate students, especially those who major in theoretical economics, attended the seminar. Professor van den Brink demonstrated how economic theory contributes to the analysis of allocation problems. The seminar was rewarding for all the participants.