Who Benefits from Customary Justice? Rent-seeking, Bribery and Criminality in Sub-Saharan Africa
AbstractIn many Sub-Saharan countries, customary and statutory judicial systems co-exist. Customary justice is exercised by clan leaders or local courts, and based on restorative principles. By contrast, statutory justice is mostly retributive and administered by magistrates’ courts. As the jurisdiction of the customary and the statutory systems often overlap, victims can choose which judicial system to refer to, which may lead to contradictions between rules and inconsistencies in judgments. In this essay, we construct a model representing a dual judicial system. We show that the overlap of competence encourages rent-seeking and bribery, and yields to high rates of petty crimes and civil disputes. We recommend the subsidization of the statutory judicial system, as it efficiently improves deterrence and incapacitation in the dual judicial system while minimizing corruption of customary judges. We illustrate our theoretical predictions by discussing the functioning of the Ugandan dual judicial system.
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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2012015.
Date of creation: 06 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Custom; Justice; Criminal Behavior; Informal Institutions;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- 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
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2012-07-29 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2012-07-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2012-07-29 (Development)
- NEP-LAW-2012-07-29 (Law & Economics)
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.:
- Jakob Svensson, 2005. "Eight Questions about Corruption," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 19-42, Summer.
- Gradstein, Mark, 2002. "Governance and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 3270, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jørgen Juel Andersen & Silje Aslaksen, 2006.
"Constitutions and the resource curse,"
Working Paper Series
7506, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James A., 2005. "Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long-Run Growth," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 385-472 Elsevier.
- Nathan Nunn, 2005.
"Historical Legacies: A Model Linking Africa's Past to its Current Underdevelopment,"
Development and Comp Systems
- Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Historical legacies: A model linking Africa's past to its current underdevelopment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 157-175, May.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000.
"The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation,"
NBER Working Papers
7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
- Gani Aldashev & Imane Chaara & Jean-Philippe Platteau & Zaki Wahhaj, 2010.
"Using the Law to Change the Custom,"
2010.60, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- Woolcock, Michael & Szreter, Simon & Rao, Vijayendra, 2010.
"How and why does history matter for development policy ?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
5425, The World Bank.
- Michael Woolcock & Simon Szreter & Vijayendra Rao, 2011. "How and Why Does History Matter for Development Policy?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(1), pages 70-96.
- Michael Woolcock & Simon Szreter & Vijayendra Rao, 2009. "How and Why Does History Matter for Development Policy?," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 6809, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
- Badi H. Baltagi & Panicos O. Demetriades & Siong Hook Law, 2008.
"Financial Development and Openness: Evidence from Panel Data,"
Center for Policy Research Working Papers
107, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
- Baltagi, Badi H. & Demetriades, Panicos O. & Law, Siong Hook, 2009. "Financial development and openness: Evidence from panel data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 285-296, July.
- Nathan Nunn, 2009.
"The Importance of History for Economic Development,"
Annual Review of Economics,
Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, 05.
- Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 14899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrei Shleifer & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Rafael La Porta, 2008.
"The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 46(2), pages 285-332, June.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," NBER Working Papers 13608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & La Porta, Rafael, 2008. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," Scholarly Articles 2962610, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Gani Aldashev, 2009. "Legal institutions, political economy, and development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 257-270, Summer.
- Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2003.
"Fairness versus Welfare: Notes on the Pareto Principle, Preferences, and Distributive Justice,"
The Journal of Legal Studies,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 331-362, 01.
- Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2003. "Fairness Versus Welfare: Notes on the Pareto Principle, Preferences, and Distributive Justice," NBER Working Papers 9622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Papaioannou, Elias, 2008.
"What Drives International Financial Flows? Politics, Institutions and Other Determinants,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
7010, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Papaioannou, Elias, 2009. "What drives international financial flows? Politics, institutions and other determinants," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 269-281, March.
- Posner, Richard A., 1984. "Wealth maximization and judicial decision-making," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 131-135, December.
- Nicola Gennaioli & Ilia Rainer, 2007. "The modern impact of precolonial centralization in Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 185-234, September.
- Gradstein, Mark, 2004. "Governance and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 505-518, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne DAVISTER-LOGIST).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.