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. As a result, even if the formal law is not resorted to in an explicit manner, its mere existence might create a situation in which its objectives are partly met. 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.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2009|
- statutory law
- legal reform.