Dams, particularly large ones, are costly, and their construction is often intensely debated. Their impacts vary. They affect farming practices and increase agricultural and industrial productivity, but they also generate significant social and environmental costs. Government policies frequently fail to balance these impacts, resulting in larger than optimal projects. Analyses of dams need to be conducted, taking into account economic impacts, environmental effects, hydrological and technological factors, and the response of farmers to dams.

JEL classifications: J43, J48, O1, Q15, Q16, Q25