Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) can be viewed as an institutional instrument designed to ameliorate losses of economic efficiency that have arisen due to incomplete specification of the privileges and restrictions attached to property rights. If applied appropriately ICM can facilitate the emergence of a market in which parties disadvantaged by incomplete specification attempt to bribe those advantaged, with the aim of obtaining the latter's agreement to more complete specification. The instrument provides potential for transactions costs of bargaining to be reduced substantially by reducing the number of parties eligible to participate in, and installing the state as broker and arbiter of, the bargaining process. Participation by sub-catchment committees and their constituents in the bargaining process can also, by fostering peer pressure, reduce the transactions costs of monitoring and obtaining compliance with any bargains successfully negotiated. However, the extent to which transactions costs are reduced in practice, and bargains are entered into and complied with as a result, depends on how successfully ICM principles are applied in practice.


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