Inheritance under Conditions of Land Scarcity

Projet: Recherche

Détails du projet


How do inheritance rules regarding the apportioning of family land assets evolve when population pressure increases is the first central question addressed by this project. In particular, do we observe that land inheritance becomes more unequal when these assets become small compared to the number of customary claimants, and when some of them migrate on a more or less permanent basis? Involved in this research project is the testing of the validity of the strategic bequest theory according to which parents choose the inheritance pattern in order to elicit proper behaviour from their children, rewarding those who take care of them.
A second question concerns the timing of inheritance and its evolution under the same circumstances. More precisely, do inter vivos transfers of land increase compared to post-mortem inheritance when land scarcity rises? Related to this question is the whole issue of the family structure and its successive transformations. Indeed, if inter vivos transfers grow in importance, it is expected that the family will probably break up during the life of the parents, or at least that children will increasingly claim the possibility of possessing and managing individual plots of land by themselves.

The whole project is based on first-hand empirical data collected by CRED's members, in Peru (ongoing), Kenya (ongoing) and Mali (ongoing).

Persons currently involved

Jean-Philippe Platteau, Catherine Guirkinger, Tatiana Goetghebuer, Anne Michels, Kofi Alinon (Université Mande Bukari, Bamako), Peter Kimuyu and Jane Mariara (University of Nairobi, Kenya).
statutEn cours d'exécution
Les dates de début/date réelle1/09/04 → …


  • Inheritance under Conditions of Land Scarcity

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