IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fem/femwpa/2010.60.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Using the Law to Change the Custom

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gani Aldashev & Imane Chaara & Jean-Philippe Platteau & Zaki Wahhaj, 2010. "Using the Law to Change the Custom," Working Papers 2010.60, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.60
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/20105111022204NDL2010-060.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Evolution of Common Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 43-68.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 157-181, October.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 830-851, September.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Davis, Peter, 2009. "Everyday forms of collective action in Bangladesh: Learning from Fifteen Cases," CAPRi working papers 94, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cecchi, Francesco & Melesse, Mequanint Biset, 2016. "Formal law and customary change: A lab-in-field experiment in Ethiopia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 67-85.
    2. Pedro Naso & Erwin Bulte & Tim Swanson, 2017. "Can there be benefits from competing legal regimes? The impact of legal pluralism in post-conflict Sierra Leone," CIES Research Paper series 56-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    3. Same Moukoudi, Teclaire & Geenen, Sara, 2015. "Discourses, fragmentation and coalitions: the case of Herakles Farms’ large-scale land deal in Cameroon," IOB Discussion Papers 2015.03, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
    4. Ryan Bubb, 2013. "The Evolution of Property Rights: State Law or Informal Norms?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 555-594.
    5. Giampaolo Lecce & Laura Ogliari & Tommaso Orlando, 2017. "Resistance to Institutions and Cultural Distance: Brigandage in Post-Unification Italy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2097, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    6. 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.
    7. Duarte N. Leite & Sandra T. Silva & Oscar Afonso, 2014. "Institutions, Economics And The Development Quest," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 491-515, July.
    8. repec:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:413-430 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Olivia D'Aoust & Olivier Sterck, 2016. "Who Benefits from Customary Justice? Rent-seeking, Bribery and Criminality in sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 25(3), pages 439-467.
    10. Gani Aldashev, 2009. "Legal institutions, political economy, and development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 257-270, Summer.
    11. Pal, Sarmistha & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2017. "Fiscal decentralisation, local institutions and public good provision: evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 383-409.
    12. 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.
    13. Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2009. "Institutional Obstacles to African Economic Development: State, Ethnicity, and Custom," Post-Print hal-00726664, HAL.
    14. Ali, Daniel Ayalew & Deininger, Klaus & Goldstein, Markus, 2014. "Environmental and gender impacts of land tenure regularization in Africa: Pilot evidence from Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 262-275.
    15. Chen, Daniel L. & Levonyan, Vardges & Yeh, Susan, 2016. "Policies Affect Preferences: Evidence from Random Variation in Abortion Jurisprudence," IAST Working Papers 16-58, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    16. Heltberg,Rasmus & Lakhani,Sadaf Sayyeda & Sacks,Audrey, 2014. ""They Are Not Like Us": Understanding Social Exclusion," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6784, The World Bank.
    17. Jean-Philippe Platteau & Guilia Camilotti & Emmanuelle Auriol, 2017. "Eradicating women-hurting customs: What role for social engineering?," WIDER Working Paper Series 145, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Amrit Amirapu, 2017. "Justice Delayed is Growth Denied: The Effect of Slow Courts on Relationship-Specific Industries in India," Studies in Economics 1706, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    19. 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.
    20. Imane Chaara, 2012. "Pro-Women Legal Reform in Morocco: Is Religion an Obstacle?," Working Papers 685, Economic Research Forum, revised 2012.
    21. Mizuno, Nobuhiro, 2016. "Political structure as a legacy of indirect colonial rule: Bargaining between national governments and rural elites in Africa," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 1023-1039.
    22. Chen, Daniel L. & Yeh, Susan, 2016. "How Do Rights Revolutions Occur? Free Speech and the First Amendment," IAST Working Papers 16-51, Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST).
    23. Gani Aldashev & Imane Chaara & Jean-Philippe Platteau & Zaki Wahhaj, 2012. "Formal Law as a Magnet to Reform Custom," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(4), pages 795-828.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Custom; Statutory Law; Inequality; Legal Reform;

    JEL classification:

    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, 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; Revolutions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.60. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/feemmit.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.