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Case Studies

Information and Lawyer Quality: Evidence from a Field Experiment in a Mexican Labor Court

Abstract: Does informing plaintiffs about expected case outcomes lead them to hire better quality lawyers? We conduct a randomized field experiment with the Mexico City Labor Court to provide statistical predictions and meetings with court conciliators to potential plaintiffs. Almost…

Women’s land rights and village councils in Tanzania

Abstract: This paper studies the land property rights of married women using a diagnostic survey on women’s land property rights and Village Councils in rural Tanzania (VI-LART). Women own little property independently of their husbands. This puts them at particular…

Why do land rights matter?

Sylvie Lambert (Paris School of Economics), Garance Genicot (Georgetown University), and Markus Goldstein (World Bank) discuss the significance of ensuring land rights to economic activity in the agricultural sectory in the Congo Basin, how securing land rights for women is…

How organised crime governs: gangs and institutions in Medellin

Despite the prevalence of “criminal governance” in cities around the world, there is very little information available to policymakers about effective strategies to reduce the influence of urban armed groups. Santiago Tobon, (Innovations for Poverty Action and Universidad EAFIT, Columbia),…

Why does judicial independence matter?

Judicial independence from state bureaucracies is considered critical for the stability of institutions and for ensuring the rule of law. As such, judicial independence is crucially important for understanding the development process. In this video Dr Sultan Mehmood (University of…

How does institutional reform affect social norms around marriage and women’s rights?

Zaki Wahhaj (Member, Advisory Group – Family Gender Conflict), Francois Bourguignon (Paris School of Economics, Research Director EDI), and Kate Vyborny (Duke University) discuss the unintended effects of new laws on the legal age of marriage in rural Bangladesh, and…

How does the past account for the present: the case of clans in Kyrgyzstan

The design of development policies requires a precise understanding of the informal institutions regulating economic activities. A key – yet understudied – institution in many low- and middle-income countries is the clan. Catherine Guirkinger (University of Namur) discusses the economic…

The Quran and the Sword – the Strategic Game between Autocratic Power, the Military And the Clerics

This paper elucidates the willingness of an autocrat to push through institutional reforms in a context where traditional authorities represented by religious clerics are averse to them and where the military, who have their own preferences about reforms, control the…

Innovation, Voice and Hierarchy in the Public Sector: Evidence from Ghana’s Civil Service

Abstract: Research on innovation in government often focuses on ideas introduced by senior leaders or managers, but ideas from public servants themselves are an important and underexplored channel for improving performance in government bureaucracies. We provide new evidence on the…

Individualization of Property Rights And Population Pressure (Democratic Republic Of Congo)

Abstract: This paper investigates how social norms related to land conversion may evolve to accommodate greater scarcity, by taking advantage of data collected in the Equateur Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as historical events that introduced…

Child marriage law, gender norms and marriage customs (Bangladesh)

Abstract: The negative welfare consequences of child marriage are well established, but the phenomenon is still ubiquitous in developing countries, where one in three girls is married before the age of 18. Although most countries have a legal minimum age of marriage…

Resource transfers to local governments (West Bengal)

This EDI Working Paper arises from the research undertaken for a case study on “Discretion versus rule-based budgeting and assignment in Indian governments“. The study shows how political support of household heads respond to receipt of different private and public good…

Community Origins of Industrial Entrepreneurship in Pre-Independence India

This EDI Working Paper derives from research undertaken in the Case Study on ‘Community networks and industrial entrepreneurship in India and China’ by Dilip Mookherjee et al. The authors argue that community networks played an important role in the emergence of…

Community networks and the growth of private enterprise in China

This paper identifies and quantifies the role played by birth-county-based community networks in the growth of private enterprise in China. We develop a network-based model that generates predictions for the dynamics of firm entry, concentration, and firm size across birth counties with varying…

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