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.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.
Volume (Year): 97 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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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
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