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Benin Institutional Diagnostic

Leadership Team:

  • Romain Houssa (University of Namur)


  • Benin

Project summary

Benin is one of the focus countries for our studies to develop an institutional diagnostic tool.

There are four stages to our approach for this research.

  • Stage 1: Identification and justification of institutional areas
  • Stage 2: Deep-dive thematic studies into key restrictive institutional areas
  • Stage 3: Integration of findings and proposals for potential institutional reforms
  • Stage 4: Dissemination of findings

Team leadership: Romain Houssa (University of Namur)

General project management: Tatiana Goetghebuer (Aide á la Décision Economique, ADE)

External advisers: François Bourguignon, Alexandre Biaou, Alain Babatoundé, John Igué, Mathias Hounkpe, Sebastien Sotindjo, Léonard Wantchekon, Paul Reding, and Etienne Yehoue

Project updates

March 2019 – A successful workshop on the thematic studies was held on 22 and 23 March 2019. The event provided an opportunity for insightful discussions between top national and international  academics and policy makers. Key institutional issues for Benin sustainable development were discussed, including: Business & Politics; Benin-Nigeria special relationship; The dominant role of cotton sector; Tax effort and domestic resource mobilization; Challenges in regulating land rights.

Benin Thematic Studies Workshop (22-23 March, 2019)

November 2018 – The comprehensive analysis to contribute to an institutional diagnostic of Benin is underway. Stage 1 of the approach has been completed and a first assessment of institutional constraints (chapter 1) is available for download below. The survey analysis has been completed and insights will be published soon. Stage 2 thematic deep-dives are being conducted and chapter outlines are summarised below.

Chapter 1: A first assessment of institutional constraints on the development of Benin    

  • Author/s: Romain Houssa (University of Namur); Jean-Philippe Platteau (University of Namur); Paul Reding (University of Namur)
  • Discussant: Rachidi Kotchoni

Chapter 2: Understanding Benin’s institutional performance: insights from survey data analysis 

  • Author/s: Romain Houssa (University of Namur)
  • Discussant: C. Kougnianzonde

Chapter 3: Business interests and clientelist contracts: evidence from Benin  

  • Author/s: Rafael Chy (New York University); Mathias Hounkpe (OSIWa); Léonard Wantchekon (Princeton University)
  • Discussant: Cesi Cruz

Chapter 4: Tax gaps and tax collectors’ remuneration in Benin 

  • Author/s: Grégoire Rota-Graziosi (CERDI-CNRS-UCA); Emilie Caldeira (CERDI-CNRS-UCA)
  • Discussant: Mede Nicaise

Chapter 5: Regulation of a dominant sector: case study of cotton institutions in Benin

  • Author/s: Houinsou Dedehouanou (Université d’Abomey-Calavi); Barthelemy Honfoga (Université d’Abomey-Calavi)
  • Discussant: V. Theriault

Chapter 6: Land rights in Benin: Options for more effective regulations   

  • Author/s: Philippe Lavigne (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement – IRD)
  • Discussant: Kenneth Houngbedji

Chapter 7: Benin’s special relationship with Nigeria 

  • Author/s: Stephen S. Golub (Swarthmore College); Aly Mbaye (University of Dakar)
  • Discussant: John Igué


November 2017 – we held a workshop in Cotonou, Benin, to bring together the key researchers and prepare our surveys for interviewees and other stakeholders.

Benin Institutional Diagnostic – survey preparation (Cotonou, November 2017)
Benin Institutional Diagnostic – survey preparation (Cotonou, November 2017)
Benin Institutional Diagnostic – survey preparation (Cotonou, November 2017)


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