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How do local-level legal institutions promote development ?, Volume 1
 
Author:Gauri, Varun; Country:World;
Date Stored:2009/11/03Document Date:2009/11/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Children and Youth; Public Institution Analysis & Assessment; Legal Products; Gender and Law; Legal Institutions of the Market Economy
Language:EnglishMajor Sector:Education; Public Administration, Law, and Justice; Health and other social services
Rel. Proj ID:1W-Human Rights And Services For Poor People -- -- P092076;Region:The World Region
Report Number:WPS5108Sub Sectors:Health; Primary education; Law and justice
Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5108TF No/Name:TF053666-BNPP-GOVERNANCE:; TF054260-TFESSD
Volume No:1  

Summary: This paper develops a framework and some hypotheses regarding the impact of local-level, informal legal institutions on three economic outcomes: aggregate growth, inequality, and human capabilities. It presents a set of stylized differences between formal and informal legal justice systems, identifies the pathways through which formal systems promote economic outcomes, reflects on what the stylized differences mean for the potential impact of informal legal institutions on economic outcomes, and looks at extant case studies to examine the plausibility of the arguments presented. The paper concludes that local-level, informal legal institutions can support social substitutes for the enforcement of contracts, although these substitutes tend to be limited in range and scale; they are flexible and could conceivably be adapted to serve the interests of the poor and marginalized if supportive organizational and social resources could be brought to support the legal claims of the disempowered; and they are more likely to support personal integrity rights than the positive liberties that are also constitutive of development as freedom.

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