Using the law to change the custom
AbstractThe custom often acts as a powerful hindrance to equity-increasing changes. In this paper, we present a simple model of legal dualism in which a progressive legal reform can, under certain conditions, shift the conflicting custom in the direction intended by the legislator. Formal law then acts as an outside anchor that exerts a 'magnet effect’ on the custom. We also characterize the conditions under which a moderate reform performs better than a radical one in improving the welfare of the disadvantaged sections of the population. We illustrate our insights using examples on inheritance, marriage, and divorce in Sub-Saharan Africa and India.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.
Volume (Year): 97 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec
Custom; Statutory law; Legal reform;
Other versions of this item:
- K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- AKA, Bédia F, 2007. "Gender, Land Access And Rural Poverty In Côte D’Ivoire," International Journal of Applied Econometrics and Quantitative Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 4(1), pages 21-36.
- Daniel Berkowitz & Katharina Pistor & Jean-Francois Richard, 2000.
"Economic Development, Legality, and the Transplant Effect,"
William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
308, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Berkowitz, Daniel & Pistor, Katharina & Richard, Jean-Francois, 2003. "Economic development, legality, and the transplant effect," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 165-195, February.
- Daniel Berkowitz & Katharina Pistor & Jean-Francois Richard, 2000. "Economic Development, Legality, and the Transplant Effect," CID Working Papers 39, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Daniel Berkowitz & Karina Pistor & Jean-Francois Richard, 2001. "Economic Development, Legality, and the Transplant Effect," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 410, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Quisumbing, Agnes R, et al, 2001. "Women's Land Rights in the Transition to Individualized Ownership: Implications for Tree-Resource Management in Western Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 157-81, October.
- Frederic Gaspart & Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2010. "Strategic Behavior and Marriage Payments: Theory and Evidence from Senegal," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(1), pages 149-185, October.
- Miceli, Thomas J. & Cosgel, Metin M., 1994. "Reputation and judicial decision-making," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 31-51, January.
- Gennaioli, Nicola & Shleifer, Andrei, 2007.
"The Evolution of Common Law,"
3451305, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 830-51, September.
- Shavell, Steven, 1995. "Alternative Dispute Resolution: An Economic Analysis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 1-28, January.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes R Quisumbing, 2000.
"Control and Ownership of Assets Within Rural Ethiopian Households,"
Economics Series Working Papers
WPS/2000-27, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- M. Fafchamps & A. R. Quisumbing, 2002. "Control and Ownership of Assets Within Rural Ethiopian Households," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(6), pages 47-82.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Agnes Quisumbing, 2000. "Control and ownership of assets within rural Ethiopian households," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-27, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2001. "Control and ownership of assets within rural Ethiopian households," FCND briefs 120, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2001. "Control and ownership of assets within rural Ethiopian households," FCND discussion papers 120, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Rasmusen, Eric, 1994.
"Judicial Legitimacy as a Repeated Game,"
Journal of Law, Economics and Organization,
Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 63-83, April.
- Andre, Catherine & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Land relations under unbearable stress: Rwanda caught in the Malthusian trap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-47, January.
- Katharina Pistor & Yoram Keinan & Jan Kleinheisterkamp & Mark D. West, 2003. "Evolution of Corporate Law and the Transplant Effect: Lessons from Six Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 18(1), pages 89-112.
- Davis, Peter, 2009. "Everyday forms of collective action in Bangladesh: Learning from Fifteen Cases," CAPRi working papers 94, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
- Surajeet Chakravarty & W. Bentley MacLeod, 2009.
"Contracting in the shadow of the law,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 533-557.
- Gani Aldashev, 2009. "Legal institutions, political economy, and development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 257-270, Summer.
- Cervellati, Matteo & Vanin, Paolo, 2013.
""Thou Shalt Not Covet ...": Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values,"
IZA Discussion Papers
7334, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Cervellati, Matteo & Vanin, Paolo, 2013. "“Thou shalt not covet”: Prohibitions, temptation and moral values," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 15-28.
- Matteo Cervellati & Paolo Vanin, 2010. "”Thou shalt not covet ...”: Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values," Working Papers 2010.54, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2009. "Institutional obstacles to African economic development: State, ethnicity, and custom," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 669-689, September.
- Chaara, Imane, 2011. "Pro-Women Legal Reform in Morocco: Is Religion an Obstacle?," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 17, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
- Lakhani, Sadaf & Sacks, Audrey & Heltberg, Rasmus, 2014. ""They Are Not Like Us": Understanding Social Exclusion," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6784, The World Bank.
- Mizuno, Nobuhiro, 2013. "Political Structure as a Legacy of Indirect Colonial Rule: Bargaining between National Governments and Rural Elites in Africa," MPRA Paper 48771, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Olivier STERCK & Olivia D’AOUST, 2012. "Who Benefits from Customary Justice? Rent-seeking, Bribery and Criminality in Sub-Saharan Africa," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012015, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.