Custom, Capitalism, and the State: The Origins of Insecure Land Tenure in West Africa
This paper invokes foundational property rights theories to explain the persistence of insecure tenure in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. The case studies affirm the theories' core propositions: when relative factor prices change, actors seek more narrowly defined rights to newly valued resources. Their efforts may be blocked by costly decision-making rules, distributional conflict, or the inabiltiy to credibly commit to the new rights. This paper also highlights the way in which culture - the beliefs, rituals, and practices that promote a community's share understanding or mode of behavior - circumscribes actors' choice sets, and, thus, influences the path of institutional change.
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Volume (Year): 156 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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