Local Institutions and Rural Development. Evidence from Liberia


Local Institutions and Rural Development. Evidence from Liberia

Promovendus dr. G (Gonne) Beekman
Promotor prof.dr.ir. EH (Erwin) Bulte
Copromotor ir. EEM (Lonneke) Nillesen
Organisatie Wageningen University & Research, Development Economics, Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

wo 21 oktober 2015 16:00 tot 17:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen
This thesis focusses on the role of local (informal) institutions for development, based on data from Liberia. I show that dense family networks can be an obstacle for economic decision making, due to strict income sharing obligations that often belong to them. I also demonstrate the importance of local governance quality: corrupt village leaders negatively affect daily investment decisions by villagers. Finally, I evaluate the impact of a rural development project that aims to strengthen food security and social cohesion between villagers. The results indicate that the impact is marginal at most, and local institutions again do play a role.

Institutions are difficult to change, as they are rooted in an historical context. However, policy makers could support the emergence of alternative institutions. Either way, a deeper understanding of the far-going impact of local institutions is important: this research contributes to that.