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Notwithstanding the neoclassical predilection for markets as a means of allocating scarce resources, it remains the case that state-devised attenuation of behaviour is the norm for many resource allocation decisions. This is particularly apparent in the case of water in urban areas in Australia, where mandated water restrictions limit the forms of water use that are permissible. Whilst there has been much debate about the efficacy of this approach, an important underlying question relates to the motivations for individuals to comply. More specifically, if a restriction regime is broadly in line with underlying motivations then, prima facie, it will generate less severe welfare losses than one which is largely at odds with individual drivers of behaviour.


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