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Using the Law to Change the Custom

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  • Gani Aldashev

    (University of Namur and CRED)

  • Imane Chaara

    (University of Namur and CRED)

  • Jean-Philippe Platteau

    (University of Namur and CRED)

  • Zaki Wahhaj

    (University of Namur and CRED)

Abstract

We build a simple model of legal dualism in which a pro-poor legal reform, under certain conditions, causes the conflicting custom to go some way toward producing the change intended by the legislator. It then acts as an "outside anchor" that exerts a "magnet effect" on the custom. We illustrate this insight using examples on inheritance, marriage, and divorce issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and India. We also characterize the conditions under which a moderate pro-poor reform is more effective than a radical reform.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2010.60.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.60

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Keywords: Custom; Statutory Law; Inequality; Legal Reform;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lakhani, Sadaf & Sacks, Audrey & Heltberg, Rasmus, 2014. ""They Are Not Like Us": Understanding Social Exclusion," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6784, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Gani Aldashev, 2009. "Legal institutions, political economy, and development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 257-270, Summer.

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