To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Routledge and Taylor and Francis Group is offering free access to over 100 articles in their Human Rights Collection.
Christopher Jeffords' article (co-authored with Farhed Shah), titled "On the Natural and Economic Difficulties to Fulfilling the Human Right to Water Within a Neoclassical Economics Framework," was published in Volume 71, Issue 1 of the Review of Social Economy (February 2013).
The abstract of the article follows:
We present a neoclassical economic model of the human right to water using a nonrenewable resource model inclusive of a backstop technology. The right is interpreted as a minimum consumption requirement the government is obligated to fulfill in the event that any one household cannot do so independently. Differing by income levels, households maximize utility by purchasing a composite consumption good and water from two distinct, government-owned sources. Facing physical and financial constraints, the government uses fiscal policy to address potential human rights violations. Reducing the analysis to two periods, we develop a novel approach to compare total welfare levels from a joint human rights and neoclassical economics perspective. We define a human rights welfare standard and discuss cases in which traditional social welfare measures would exceed, violate, or meet this standard. We thus offer a unique way to merge economic analysis with human rights research.
Department of Economics